Jury Orders Alex Jones To Pay Sandy Hook Victims’ Families Nearly $1 Billion
WATERY Connecticut - The relatives of the eight people slain in the 2012 massacre as well as the F.B.I. agent who arrived at the scene received damages from a Connecticut jury. After spending years making up stories about the incident, Jones had already been found to be liable for defamation as the jury orders Alex Jones to pay sandy hook victims’ families nearly 1 billion.
The families of eight Sandy Hook massacre victims won nearly $1 billion in damages from Infowars liar Alex Jones on Wednesday, dealing a fatal blow to his empire and sending a clear message that his lies and those of his supporters have grave repercussions.
Jones now risks financial disaster after claiming for years that the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, which murdered 20 first graders and six teachers, was a government fabrication. The amount of money the families will ultimately receive is unknown, though.
“Do these people actually think they’re getting any money?” mocked Alex Jones live on his show as he was being ordered by a Connecticut jury to pay almost $1 billion in damages to the relatives of eight Sandy Hook victims and an F.B.I. agent he accused of being an actor.
Mr. Jones referred to the $965 million verdict against him as a "joke" in a broadcast Wednesday that was timed to the court hearing, which he did not attend. Then he made an attempt to get his listeners to donate money.
COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/w/jury-orders-alex-jones-to-pay-sandy-hook-victims-families-nearly-1-billion/ by William Willis on 2022-10-14T01:35:34.134Z
Alex Jones ordered to pay nearly $1 billion in Sandy Hook defamation case | ABCNL
In the defamation trial in Connecticut, the families of eight victims and an FBI agent who responded to the attack had demanded at least $550 million.
They claimed that the right-wing radio host's false statements caused a decade of stalking and threats of death.
Sandy Hook Elementary School saw the deaths of twenty children and six adults.
For years, Jones, the creator of the conspiracy-filled Infowars website and talk show, insisted that the shooting was a "staged" government operation to take away Americans' firearms and that "no one died."
He claimed that some of the victims' parents were "crisis actors" and that some victims never existed.
He made a similar admission in August at a different defamation trial in Texas, and now he says the attack was "100% real."
Many of the relatives were clearly distraught, some sobbing as the decision was announced on Wednesday in Waterbury, Connecticut, some 20 miles (32 km) from the scene of the 2012 massacre.
A series of parents' emotional testimony during the three-week trial was notable.
Some claimed to have experienced an onslaught of internet abuse, while others claimed they were forced to relocate residences regularly out of fear. Mark Barden, a father, recalled learning that his son Daniel's tomb was being desecrated by others "urinating on it and threatening to dig it up."
The evidence Jones and his business, Free Speech Systems, used to convince the jury that they made millions of dollars selling nutritional supplements, outdoor gear, and other items on the Infowars website.
Jones broadcast himself mocking the court processes as he watched Wednesday's ruling. Additionally, he made an urgent plea for donations from his supporters while promising that the money would not be used to cover his legal fees.
He claimed, "The money does not go to these people. It goes to fight this fraud and it goes to stabilize the company."
Reporters were informed by his attorney, Norm Pattis, that an appeal will be filed.
He claimed outside of court that "Candidly, from start to finish, the fix was in this case."
Chris Mattei, the plaintiffs' attorney, said this during closing arguments:
When every single one of these families were drowning in grief, Alex Jones put his foot right on top of them.
- Chris Mattei, plaintiffs' attorney
Jones, on the other hand, had denounced the proceedings as being conducted by a "tyrant" judge in a "show trial" and said he was not to fault for the activities of his supporters.
He declared in an emotional court speech late last month, "I've already said I'm sorry hundreds of times, and I'm done saying I'm sorry."
His attorneys urged the six-member jury to minimize damages and disregard the case's political undertones.
His lead defense attorney, Mr. Pattis, received a harsh reprimand from the judge when he claimed that the opposing legal team had "inventing anger" against them.
The House committee looking into the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 has been scrutinizing Alex Jones in addition to the Sandy Hook defamation charges.
A plaintiffs' attorney for the Texas lawsuit brought against Mr. Jones in August provided the committee with more than two years' worth of text conversations from his phone, including texts demonstrating that Mr. Jones was in contact with supporters of the late President Donald J. Trump.
However, according to those acquainted with the production of papers for the committee, the files did not contain text messages from the period that interested the committee the most: the day of January 6, 2021, and the weeks preceding the attack.
For months, the committee has pushed for access to more of Mr. Jones's messages, arguing that they may be necessary to comprehend Mr. Jones's involvement in planning the Trump event in the Ellipse, next to the White House, before the riot. The panel issued subpoenas to Mr. Jones in November 2021 to compel his testimony and correspondence pertaining to January 6 - including his phone records.
The communications of Timothy D. Enlow, who was serving as Mr. Jones' bodyguard on January 6, were also demanded by the committee.
In response, Mr. Jones and Mr. Enlow filed a lawsuit to challenge the subpoenas issued by the committee. After finally appearing before the panel in January, Mr. Jones claimed that he had exercised his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination more than 100 times.
He claimed that despite his lack of cooperation, the investigators appeared to have worked around it and had already received text conversations from him.
At the time, he remarked, "They have everything that’s already on my phones and things." He continued by saying "I saw my text messages" political organizers connected to the demonstration on January 6.
The Jan. 6 committee claims that Mr. Jones helped Julie Jenkins Fancelli, the heiress to the Publix Super Markets fortune, donate money to provide what he described as "80 percent" of the funding for the rally. He also claimed that White House officials told him he was supposed to lead a march to the Capitol, where Mr. Trump would speak.
The day after the brawl, Mr. Jones claimed on his internet show, "The White House told me three days before, ‘We’re going to have you lead the march.’ Trump will tell people, ‘Go, and I’m going to meet you at the Capitol.’"
Mr. Jones was also among a group of Trump supporters who frequented the Willard Intercontinental Hotel. Some Trump advisers used the hotel as a war room for their campaigns to persuade lawmakers to challenge the Electoral College's results.
Jones's Infowars media empire, which has been at the center of significant conspiracy theories going back to the era of former President George W. Bush and was supported by President Donald Trump, might shrink or even be destroyed by the jury's punitive awards.
Jones' punishment occurs at a critical juncture in American society, where lies and conspiracies have grown popular recently, frequently rewarding and elevating those who spread them to the populace.
Jones has served as a model for this type of conduct. By poisoning the online information well and creating a playbook that others have used and implemented throughout the years in their pursuit of money, fame, and political influence, he gained both significant influence and fortune.
Nearly ten years after his monstrous lie about the Sandy Hook shooting, Jones may have to answer for it, but the poisonous foundation that propelled him to fame and money on the political right is still in place.
After spewing lies almost ten years ago while families of the victims were grieving, the Jury ordered Alex Jones to pay Sandy Hook victims’ families nearly $1 billion. This amount of money can bankrupt Jones' empire and he deserves it.