For many years after the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, Infowars host Alex Jones repeatedly asserted that the entire incident was a false flag hoax that even the parents of the children slain in that attack were in on.
Some of those parents sued Jones for defamation and a Texas jury ruled Thursday that Jones must pay $4.1 million to the parents of one of the children killed in that terrible incident, the Daily Wire reported.
Sued for defamation
Though Jones is facing multiple lawsuits from Sandy Hook parents, this civil suit alleging defamation involved Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son Jesse was murdered in the 2012 school shooting.
During the trial, the father Heslin testified that Jones’ commentary after the tragedy made the lives of grieving parents a “living hell” due to his “negligence and recklessness” in discussing conspiracy theories about the shooting.
“Having a 6-year-old son shot in front of his classroom is unbearable and you don’t think you’re going to survive and then to have someone on top of that perpetuate a lie that it was a hoax, that it was a false flag,” Lewis, the mother, testified. “I don’t think you understand the fear you perpetuate, not just to the victim’s family but to our family, our friends, and any survivor from that school.”
Attorney insists Jones has already been punished
In Jones’s defense, attorney Andino Reynal argued that his client had since apologized for the “terrible mistake” of what he had previously said about the incident and has acknowledged that the slaughter of innocent schoolchildren did indeed occur.
Further, likely referencing how Jones has been kicked off virtually all social media platforms, demonetized, and essentially exiled from polite society, the attorney argued that Jones had already been punished for his prior actions and “That mistake was weaponized by the same political forces that had descended upon Sandy Hook when it happened.”
NBC News reported that Heslin and Lewis had asserted that Jones committed defamation and intentional infliction of emotional damages against them, for which they sought compensation of $150 million. Jones’s attorney, though, citing the societal punishments already doled out, suggested a mere $1 would suffice.
The outlet noted that Jones had already been found liable for defamation by the judge and this particular trial was simply for a jury to determine the amount of damages due to the parents for “emotional distress and reputational damage.” The same jury will later determine how much, if anything, Jones must pay in the form of punitive damages.
Text messages mistakenly turned over
Meanwhile, Jones may have grounds for an appeal after the judge rejected a request from his attorney to declare a mistrial after it was revealed mid-trial that Jones’s defense team had accidentally handed over the entirety of the contents of Jones’s cellphone to the parents’ attorneys, which was subsequently sprung on him during questioning along with accusations of perjury.
Attorney Mark Bankston told #AlexJones that his attorney messed up and sent him Jones’ entire cell phone history. “Did you know that your lawyers messed up and sent me your entire cell phone texting history 12 days ago?” Bankston asked. “You know what perjury is right?” pic.twitter.com/IfIiP5UTIg
— Law&Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) August 3, 2022
In light of that mistake, CBS News reported that the Justice Department and House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot have made an immediate request, but not yet issued any subpoenas, for the text messages on Jones’s phone, as he is accused by some of playing an unspecified role in the lead up to the Capitol riot in 2021.