Alex Jones Hit With $965 Million Verdict In 2nd Trial Over Sandy Hook Lies

Multimillion-dollar verdicts keep stacking up against the Infowars host, who used his platform to falsely claim the Sandy Hook shooting never happened.

A Connecticut jury has found that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones must pay $965 million to several family members of those killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting for spreading lies that the shooting was fake.

Jurors deliberated for three days in a trial that lasted five weeks. Multiple Sandy Hook family members, as well as an FBI agent who responded to the 2012 school shooting, sued Jones for his continued claims that the massacre of 20 children and six adults never happened. It did.

Testimony in the Connecticut trial ― which took place just 20 minutes from where the shooting happened ― revealed the inner workings of Jones’ media company and highlighted the cruelty family members faced from harassers. It was the second such trial in three months, with a Texas jury finding Jones must pay more than $45 million to a pair of Sandy Hook parents in August. He’ll have to face trial in Texas again for his final Sandy Hook defamation case at a date to be determined.

For years, Alex Jones and his conspiracy outlet Infowars amplified the lie that 20 kids and six adults weren't killed in the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut, shooting.
For years, Alex Jones and his conspiracy outlet Infowars amplified the lie that 20 kids and six adults weren't killed in the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut, shooting.
Illustration: HuffPost/ Photo: Reuters

Central to the trial were comments Jones made on his conspiracy network Infowars just days after the shooting. Parent Robbie Parker, whose 6-year-old daughter Emilie was killed, gave a heartbreaking press conference a day after the shooting to talk about his child. But Jones focused on the nervous laugh Parker gave just before he started talking, and used that to make the absurd claim that Parker was an actor and the shooting was staged.

A torrent of harassment against Parker and other families soon began. It hasn’t stopped since, testimony showed.

On a memorial page for his daughter, Parker found himself up late at night desperately trying to delete messages from extremists who claimed his daughter never died.

“That really threw me off,” Parker testified. “I was looking for something to keep me stable because my compass was spinning, I didn’t know which way was what, and seeing these comments broke that connection I had, that stability.”

Nicole Hockley, whose 6-year-old son Dylan was killed, testified she was sent pictures of dead children by harassers as she mourned the death of her own.

“I got sent pictures of dead kids because [harassers said] as a ‘crisis actor’ I didn’t know what dead kids looked like,” Hockley testified.

And parents Mark and Jackie Barden, whose 6-year-old son Daniel was killed, testified they received a letter from someone claiming to have urinated on their son’s grave. Another letter threatened to dig up the child’s grave.

As the families of those killed were forced to navigate the abuse, Jones and Infowars saw profits go up specifically on days when he called the shooting fake, evidence showed.

For instance, on Sept. 25, 2014, Infowars published a bogus story titled “FBI Says Nobody Killed at Sandy Hook Massacre.” In a video about the bogus story, Jones told his followers that the FBI report showed “no one died in 2012 in Sandy Hook. It shows no homicides in that town.”

It was of course a lie. But that day, Infowars’ store ― which sells an amalgamation of supplements and survival gear ― saw a revenue increase of nearly $200,000 from the day before, internal records revealed.

“That’s a 500% increase,” attorney Chris Mattei, who is representing the Sandy Hook families, told the court during the first week of the trial. Infowars also saw spikes in traffic on days when Jones pushed his destructive lies.

As families testified over multiple days, Jones was outside the courthouse giving press conferences. And on Infowars the other week, Jones called the jury “rigged” and said he’s “under attack because I exposed these people.”

During his own testimony last month, Jones took no responsibility for his actions.

“I think this is a deep-state situation,” Jones said of the trial while on the stand.

When confronted by Mattei with the lies he told about parent Robbie Parker, Jones erupted and said Mattei was “ambulance chasing.”

“Is this a struggle session. Are we in China?” Jones snapped. “I’m done saying I’m sorry.”

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