Alex Jones told to pay $4.1M to Sandy Hook victim Jesse Lewis' parents, says it would 'sink' Infowars
AUSTIN, TEXAS: Conspiracy broadcaster Alex Jones who spread falsehoods about the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was told to pay $4.1 million to Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, parents of Jesse Lewis, a 6-year-old who was shot dead in the massacre. The decision was made by an Austin jury on Thursday, August 4.
A day after Jesse Lewis' parents took the stand and delivered their testimony, the Infowars founder changed his statements 180 degrees. He told the Texas courtroom that he indeed believed that the shooting took place and that it was "100% real". As a result, he must now pay a handsome amount to the Lewis family. While the jury has decided on the compensatory damages, they must still determine any punitive damages. Attorney Mark Bankston gave Fox News Digital a statement, "Today we secured $4.1 million on behalf of Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis. Having already secured $1.5 million in fines from Mr. Jones, the plaintiffs are now due $5.6 million that Alex Jones will have to pay them." Heslin and Lewis originally sued Jones for a whopping $150 million in the defamation case but the jury did not see that fit. Jones' attorney, F Andino Reynal, had asked the jury to limit damages to just $8. Moreover, Alex Jones himself told the court that any award over $2 million "would sink" his company. This comes in the light of other cases that he is fighting.
Alex Jones loses the case
The biggest debacle in this defamation case took place on Wednesday, August 3, Bankston shook the courtroom by revealing that he was in possession of Jones' text messages for over two years. Moreover, this mistake was made by Alex Jones' legal team. Soon after, he saw no other way but to confess that he indeed, intentionally, hurt feelings with his over-the-top claims. The courtroom, led by Judge Maya Guerra Gamble, eventually found the Infowars founder guilty and the jury took every element into account. The case took a different turn when the Lewis family explained in the court that Alex Jones' blog led to his followers harassing them, which was followed by gunshots fired at the home, online and phone threats, and harassment on the street by strangers.
Bankston continued with his statement, "Neil and Scarlett are thrilled with the result and look forward to putting Mr. Jones’ money to good use. Mr. Jones on the other hand will not sleep easy tonight. With punitive damages still to be decided and multiple additional defamation lawsuits pending, it is clear that Mr. Jones’ time on the American stage is finally coming to an end." Alex Jones is not free from his trouble yet as of yet as a judge in Connecticut has already ruled against him in a similar lawsuit.