An Austin jury on Thursday decided Infowars host Alex Jones must pay at least $4.1 million to the family of a 6-year-old killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting for the suffering he and his website and broadcast caused them by spreading lies about the 2012 massacre.
Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse died alongside 19 of his classmates and six educators at the school in Newtown, Connecticut, had sought $150 million for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The jury was only asked to decide whether Jones, who has already been found liable by a judge because he did not hand over critical evidence before the trial began, must also pay Jesse’s parents for the emotional distress and reputational damage caused by his false claims. The jury will also decide whether to award punitive damages. The panel will hear testimony on that subject Friday.
The trial included testimony from both parents and Jones, who has portrayed the lawsuit as an attack on his First Amendment rights. Following the shooting, he had asserted that it was fabricated and included crisis actors. He later acknowledged that it took place.NBC Alex Jones must pay at least $4.1 million to parents of a Sandy Hook school massacre victim in defamation case, jury rules