Alex Jones Hit With Nearly $1 Billion in Damages for Lies About Sandy Hook Victims

Alex Jones Hit With Nearly $1 Billion in Damages for Lies About Sandy Hook Victims

Listening to the jury verdict of InfoWars’ Alex Jones defamation trial in Connecticut was like hearing a bell toll. Over and over, each line read was like a stake being stabbed into a bloodsucking vampire’s heart: “$US120 ($167) million,” “$US55 ($76) million,” “$US54 ($75) million, $US28,800,000 ($39,980,160)…” each of the 15 individual members on the plaintiff’s side of the courtroom looking stoically ahead or putting their heads in their hands as the totals were read out. The Sandy Hook families have argued they and their families suffered immense emotional grief from Jones perpetuating the lie that their children did not die at the hands of a gunman while at school close to 10 years ago.

And that was just the compensatory damages. After all the numbers were tallied up, Jones now faces $US965 ($1,340) million in damages to the eight families of Sandy Hook victims and one FBI agent who responded to the scene.

In the past, Jones had routinely called the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting a hoax, a “false flag operation,” and further claimed that the 20 children who died in the massacre were crisis actors trying to build a case against lawful gun owners. He later recanted that version in court, at one point admitting that the shooting was “100% real.”

During the trial, the victims’ families testified they had suffered extreme emotional distress thanks to Jones’ followers, including online death and rape threats. Mark Barden, who’s son Daniel died during the shooting, told the court that conspiracy theorists had told him they were defiling his son’s grave, “urinating on it and threatening to dig it up.”

Barden was awarded $US57.6 ($80) million in compensatory damages. Robbie Parker, whose daughter Emilie was also killed at Sandy Hook, suffered so much vitriol and abuse from Jones’ followers he said he had to move 3,000 miles away. Parker was awarded $US120 ($167) million in compensatory damages, the largest number of all the plaintiffs.

Alex Jones was live during the verdict reading where he told his throng of sycophantic listeners: “Do these people actually think they’re getting any of this money?” Jones also called the verdict a “joke” and said he will appeal, adding he can “keep them in court for years.” NBC also reported that Jones’ lawyers said they also planned to appeal.

Of course, a big reason why Jones lost this case in the first place was because a judge ruled he failed to produce critical evidence before the trial began. He was found liable for damages by default, which is practically unheard of in the judicial system.

How Does This Verdict Compare to Past Alex Jones Defamation Trials?

The bombshell penalties make Jones’ previous defamation case earlier this year seem paltry by comparison. In the that case, a Texas court fined Jones $US49.3 ($68) million for his lies. To put that in perspective, all but one of the plaintiffs in the Connecticut are set to receive payout larger than the Texas fine. Jones made a brief, but surprising appearance during that trial only to predictably lambast what he referred to as a “kangaroo court.” The judge reportedly had to reprimand Jones like a petulant child after he interrupted proceedings to call the trial a “witch hunt.”

In the Connecticut case, prosecutors accused Jones of using his perceived credibility amongst his InfoWars audience to sell an assortment of whacky supplements, dick pills, and other products. That viewership, and economic benefit that goes along with it, allegedly increased following Jones’s rampant lies. In a twist, Jones refused to turn over InfoWars’ Google analytics data from the past three years for reasons unknown. Barbara Bellis, the judge overseeing the case, sanctioned Jones and, reportedly called the omission, “stunningly cavalier.” Jones was absent during the trial.

Jones went to great lengths to try and avoid paying up for his lies. Back in April, the alleged day-drinker filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy — also known as “reorganization bankruptcy” — for three of his Texas based companies. A federal bankruptcy judge in Texas ordered new officials to oversee Jones’ InfoWars bankruptcy case last month citing a lack of transparency. Though the exact value of Jones’ entries remains unclear, court documents obtained by The Huffington Post suggest InfoWars raked in $US165 ($229) million in sales from September 2015 to the end of 2018.

Whether or not Jones will actually wilfully scrounge together the nearly $US1 ($1) billion he now owes remains uncertain. Jones, in typical fashion, reacted to the judge’s ruling on InfoWars in real time by yelling and taunting the affected families. “Do these people actually think they’re getting any of this money?” he reportedly said.

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