Sandy Hook Family ‘Thrilled’ With $4.1M Alex Jones Verdict, Others Outraged

Alex Jones Defamation Trial Damages Awarded Reaction
Infowars host Alex Jones was ordered to pay Sandy Hook parents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis $4.1 million in damages on Thursday. Jones is pictured at a rally in support of former President Donald Trump’s false claims of a “stolen” presidential election on December 12, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

The parents of a Sandy Hook school shooting victim say they are “thrilled” after a Texas jury awarded $4.1 million in damages in far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ defamation trial, while others have expressed outrage over the monetary figure.

Sandy Hook parents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose 6-year-old son Jesse Lewis was killed in the massacre, had asked the jury to order the Infowars host to pay up to $150 million in damages. While the amount awarded by the jury on Thursday was far less, the parents’ attorney Mark Bankston said Heslin and Lewis were satisfied with the outcome, arguing that Jones’ time in the spotlight was “coming to an end” and pointing out that the amount he owes could soon increase significantly.

“Today we secured $4.1 million on behalf of Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis,” Bankston said in a statement obtained by Newsweek. “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. This does not include punitive damages to be decided tomorrow and additional sanctions pending before the court.”

“Neil and Scarlett are thrilled with the result and look forward to putting Mr. Jones’ money to good use,” he added. “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.”

Trials in Texas and Connecticut previously found Jones liable for falsely claiming that the the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting of December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut—which was the country’s worst-ever elementary school shooting and resulted in the deaths of 20 children and six adults—was a hoax acted out by “crisis actors” with the aim of promoting gun control legislation.

Damages have not yet been decided in the Connecticut trial, while the Texas jury is set to meet on Friday to determine punitive damages. Heslin and Lewis have asked for up to $75 million. Trial consultant Jill Huntley Taylor told Reuters that juries “often award a bigger punitive damage number.”

Jones said during the trial that any award over $2 million “would sink” Infowars, his far-right conspiracy theory website, although attorneys for the Sandy Hook families presented evidence in court that indicated the company was making up to $800,000 per day by selling products like books, videos, “emergency survival food,” supplements and unproven health remedies.

Jones attorney F. Andino Reynal had asked the jury to award only $8 in damages, or $1 for each compensation charge. While Heslin and Lewis were satisfied with the final decision, a number of observers on Twitter were not. Many pointed out that Jones is likely to have more than enough money to pay the damages despite his statements in court.

“$4.1M is pocket change to Alex Jones,” cookbook author and artist Mollie Katzen tweeted.

“Very disappointed in the amount the jury awarded in the Alex Jones situation,” tweeted talk radio host Ross Kaminsky. “I really want that guy buried financially.”

“$4 million is a weeks pay for this a**hole it’s basically nothing #AlexJones,” comedian and actress Maysoon Zayid tweeted.

“BREAKING: Alex Jones has been ordered to pay $4.1 million to the Sandy Hook parents,” tweeted influencer Majid Padellan. “It should have been $150 million.”

“I’m sorry, but only $4M?” author and blogger Geraldine DeRuiter tweeted. “That’s nothing for Jones.”

“What a disappointment,” tweeted journalist Mark Gottlieb. “$4.1m is nothing to this guy. It was revealed yesterday that at one stage Infowars was making $800k a day! For what he put these families through Jones should be ruined financially.”

Newsweek has reached out to Reynal for comment.

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