Well-known conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been sentenced by a Connecticut jury to pay more than $950 million to the relatives of the eight victims who died in the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.
Jones had long argued that the shooting had been staged and the relatives of the victims were fabricating the incident so that the government could seize American firearms. The most recent judgment is Jones' second loss after a jury in Texas found him guilty and sentenced him to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages and $4.1 million in compensatory damages. However, state rules that restrict the amount of damages can occur and that may soon lessen this sum.
According to CNN, the Connecticut trial lasted three weeks and featured evidence from the victims' parents, school staff members, and an FBI agent who reacted to the attack. The case was started by many families and the FBI agent, and it is a merging of three different cases.
Jones has long maintained that the shooting was a fake; the relatives of the victims testified throughout the trial that this harassment of them and the ongoing pain they felt after losing their children was a result. The families started suing Jones and Free Speech Systems, the firm that owns Jones' conspiracy website Infowars, in 2018.
“You may say that is astronomical. It is,” Christopher Mattei, an attorney for the plaintiffs said while addressing the jurors. “It’s exactly what Alex Jones set himself up to do. That’s what he built. He built a lie machine that could push this stuff out. You reap what you sow.”