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Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been ordered to pay Sandy Hook $4.1 million in damages

#Conspiracy #theorist #Alex #Jones #ordered #pay #Sandy #Hook #million #damages

A Texas jury on Thursday ordered far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay more than $4 million in damages to the parents of a child killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

The jury deliberated for a day before deciding the amount of damages Jones should pay for falsely claiming the Sandy Hook shooting was a “hoax.”

Jones claimed for years on his website InfoWars and a popular radio show that the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting that killed 20 children was “staged” by gun control activists, but has since admitted it was “100 percent real.”

Jones, 48, has been found liable in multiple lawsuits alleging defamation of parents of Sandy Hook victims, and the Texas case was the first to reach the damages phase.

After deciding $4.1 million in damages for causing emotional distress, the Austin, Texas jury will now hear evidence to determine whether punitive damages are warranted.

The $4.1 million is far less than the $150 million in damages sought by plaintiffs in the Texas case, Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, parents of six-year-old son Jesse.

Earlier Thursday, the judge in the case denied Jones’ request for a trial after his attorneys mistakenly turned over the conspiracy theorist’s cellphone records to opposing attorneys.

“I don’t believe there is a jury trial based on that,” Judge Maya Guerra Gamble said at an emergency hearing called to discuss the inadvertent release of the material by Jones’ attorneys.

On the final day of Wednesday’s testimony, Mark Bankston, an attorney for the parents, told Jones while he was on the witness stand that his attorneys “screwed it up.”

“You have sent me a complete digital copy of your entire mobile phone with every text message you have sent over the past two years and when informed they have taken no steps to identify it as in any way privileged or protected ‘ Bankstone said.

– ‘Do you know what perjury is?’ –

Bankston noted that Jones has repeatedly said under oath that a search of his cell phone did not turn up any text messages about Sandy Hook, but that there were indeed such messages in the logs that he had inadvertently received.

“Do you know what perjury is?” asked Bankston Jones.

F. Andino Reynal, an attorney for Jones, pleaded for a trial and said he followed the erroneous release of the recordings with an email that read “please ignore.”

“‘Please ignore’ does not create any legal obligation for me,” Bankston countered. “None.”

Bankston said “various federal agencies” along with the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump have requested the phone records.

Trump made frequent appearances on Jones’ radio show during his 2016 White House campaign, and the founder of InfoWars was in Washington when supporters of the then-president stormed Congress to prevent confirmation of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory.

Jones also testified before the committee behind closed doors.

InfoWars filed for bankruptcy in April, and another Jones-owned company, Free Speech Systems, filed for bankruptcy last week.

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