Jury orders Alex Jones to pay more than $4 million for Sandy Hook hoax claims
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A jury has ordered Alex Jones to pay more than $4 million in the Sandy Hook defamation case.
The conspiracy theorist and InfoWars host claimed the 2012 school mass shooting, where 26 people were slaughtered, was a hoax.
Parents of one of the victims launched a lawsuit against the controversial public figure and claimed he was deliberately spewing misinformation about the tragedy.
Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, who lost their son Jesse in the shooting, and sued him for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress for his lies.
The parents have been requesting upwards of $150 million, according to Deadline.
The mother and father said Jones led a 'vile campaign of defamation' and wanted him to pay the price.
Their attorney, Mark Bankston, claimed that about 75 million Americans believe the shooting was 'definitely or possibly staged'.
He claimed that $150 million symbolises 'one dollar for every one of those people in emotional damage' and another $75 million for the damage to their 'reputation'.
"For 10 years, Mr. Jones has robbed Neil and Scarlett of the time they needed to heal over the violent death of their son Jesse, because Mr. Jones wanted to sell more of his products," he said.
Mr Heslin branded Jones a 'coward' for missing his testimony during the hearing this week.
He said: "What was said about me and Sandy Hook itself resonates around the world.
"As time went on I truly realised how dangerous it was… My life has been threatened. I fear for my life, I fear for my safety."
A 12-person jury based in Austin, Texas, has now ordered for Jones to pay $4.1 million to Neil and Scarlett in compensatory damages.
According to the Daily Mail, Jones said any figure over $2 million would financially cripple him, saying it 'would sink us'.
The jury's next task is deciding how much in punitive damages the parents are entitled to.
Jones' legal troubles are also far from over.
A group of Sandy Hook families have filed a lawsuit in Connecticut and there's another case in Texas where his Infowars company is based.
Speaking during the hearing earlier this week, Jones finally admitted he was wrong to claim the Sandy Hook tragedy was a hoax.
He said: "It was ... especially since I’ve met the parents. It’s 100 percent real."