Alex Jones ordered to pay more than $4m compensatory damages to Sandy Hook family

Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been ordered to pay $4.11m in compensatory damages to the family of a Sandy Hook victim.

Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose six-year-old son Jesse was among the 20 students and six adults killed in the mass shooting, sued Jones and his media company for the claims he has made that the massacre was a “false flag” operation and that the victims did not actually exist.

They had asked for $150m in compensatory damages and another trial to determine punitive damages is now expected to take place on Friday.

At the heart of the Alex Jones defamation case is a decade-long tragedy for the families who lost young children and loved ones in one of the worst school massacres in US history.

Heavily-armed Adam Lanza, 20, walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 after shooting his mother dead and unleashed unimaginable carnage, which saw 20 children and six adults murdered.

Despite the human cost that has haunted the town of Newtown, Connecticut, within hours of the bloodshed, Alex Jones began to falsely claim that despite all evidence to the contrary a massacre that stunned the watching world was not real.

As the families were left to bury their small children in tiny coffins, Jones stated that the mass shooting and the murder of 20 children never happened.

And he even claimed that the six and seven-year-olds being mourned never even existed.

The Infowars host told his audience that the violence was in fact a “false flag” operation engineered by the government to bring about stricter gun control laws and take away Second Amendment rights.

He claimed that the event was “staged” and “completely fake”, carried out by “actors” as a “giant hoax”. His conspiracy theories began less than two hours after the mass shooting took place on 14 December 2012.

“There is a reported school shooting in Connecticut – one of the states that has draconian restrictions on gun ownership… The media will hype the living daylights out of this,” he told his listeners.

“Why do governments stage these things? To get our guns!”

And so he continued for the next decade, continually claiming that the shooting was “staged” and “completely fake”, carried out by “actors” as a “giant hoax”.

The families who had their world destroyed by Adam Lanza finally had enough.

In 2018, a total of 10 families of victims filed four defamation lawsuits in Texas – where Infowars is based – and Connecticut against Mr Jones and Infowars over his false claims.

And in 2021, judges in all the defamation cases ruled that Jones was guilty by default as he failed to provide the required evidence.

Jones was set to testify under oath in March as part of an effort to settle the case, but his layers tried to delay it, claiming he was too “sick” to participate.

Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis turned down his requests to delay, stating that he appeared well enough to film his Infowars show, and he defied court orders to show up.

The circus then moved to Austin, Texas, where a Travis County jury was asked to decide how much Jones will have to pay Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis.

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