The jury has handed the host of the radio station a massive damage order.
A Connecticut jury has ordered Alex Jones, a controversial radio host, to pay $965 Million in damages to Sandy Hook Elementary School victims’ families. Jones suggested that the massacre of December 2012 was staged.
After three days of deliberates, the Connecticut Superior Court jury made its decision on Wednesday. Payouts were made to eight families who lost their children in the shooting and to an ambulance worker who claimed that he had been defamed. Robbie Parker was the victim of the largest damages. Jones was required to pay $60m for defamation, and $60m for emotional distress.
Jones, Infowars founder, accused Parker, of being a crisis actor, after he was seen on video smiling briefly at a conference about his 6-year old daughter’s death. Jones claimed that Jones had threatened and harassed family members of deceased children. For instance, Mark and Jackie Barden said people urinated on their son’s grave and threatened to dig it up to prove that he wasn’t killed.
Twenty-six children were killed and six teachers were injured in the shooting. Sandy Hook families brought four cases against Jones in defamation. A Texas jury ordered Jones to pay $49 Million in damages to his parents and another victim of the shooting.
Jones, who didn’t attend court for Wednesday’s verdict announcement, testified last month that he “legitimately thought”The shooting may have been faked. However, later it was confirmed to be real. As a lawyer for the plaintiffs scolded him for failing to show respect to the victims’ families, he said, “Is this a struggle session? Were we ever in China? I’ve already said I’m sorry hundreds of times, and I’m done saying I’m sorry.”
Jones said on his radio show Wednesday that he will appeal the verdict and that his company’s bankruptcy filing will protect Infowars while the case is still pending. The lawsuits against Jones have been portrayed by him as an assault on constitutional freedom to speech.
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