“Sandy Hook is synthetic, completely fake with actors, in my view, manufactured”: a statement that has landed InfoWars host Alex Jones in a rather right spot.
Jones made the comment in 2015 on his radio show. Now, he’s been ordered by a Connecticut jury to pay eight families of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims and one first responder $965 million in compensatory damages.
The decision comes nearly four years later after the legal process began in 2018 when the families took action against Jones and his company, Free Speech Systems.
Jones was not in the courtroom at the time of the verdict.
How much money the plaintiffs will receive is unclear. Jones said that there “ain’t no money” and plans to appeal the decision.
Christopher Mattei, an attorney for the plaintiffs, advised jurors to award the victims with at least half a billion dollars to reflect the more than 550 million impressions Jones’ conspiracy allegedly received online.
“You may say that this is astronomical. It is,” he said. “It’s exactly what Alex 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.”
The jury was applauded for their decision.
“The jury’s verdict is a testament to that courage, in a resounding affirmation that people of goodwill, dedicated to the truth, mindful of their responsibilities to their fellow citizens can come together to protect the innocent, to reveal lies masquerading as truth, and to set right a historic wrong,” Mattei said to reporters outside the courthouse.
Throughout the trial, Jones attacked the judicial process and was warned by the judge he could be held in contempt of court. At one point, he accused an attorney of “ambulance chasing,” and presented himself as a victim of a “deep state” conspiracy.
Jones later corrected himself after he made the comment in 2015, acknowledging that the massacre had indeed occurred as he was faced with several lawsuits. However, he failed to comply with court orders during the discovery process.