A jury decides conspiracy theorist Alex Jones should pay the Sandy Hook family nearly $1 billion in damages for his lies about the school massacre | CNN Business

CNN Business — Far-right talk show host Alex Jones must pay $965 million in damages to eight families of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims and one first responder, a Connecticut jury decided Wednesday. Serious harm caused by the lies of the conspiracy theorists. Receiving a harsh award, this decision was at the center of major conspiracy theories that date back to forming the George W. Bush administration and could shrink or even ruin Jones’ Infowars media empire, which was embraced by President Donald Trump. When the jury’s decision was read aloud, plaintiffs and their lawyers were visibly emotional. The decision marks an important moment in a long process that began in 2018 when the family took legal action against Jones and his company, Free Speech Systems. The event was staged after the 2012 massacre that essentially killed 26 people, and Jones has repeatedly referred to his family and first responders as “crisis actors.” Throughout the trial, the plaintiffs poignantly explained how the lie sparked constant harassment against them and added to the emotional pain of losing a loved one. In addition to one FBI agent who was at the scene, the trial included a school student and the family of eight employees. All three cases were condensed into a single trial. Jones was not in court for the verdict. He was live-streaming the jury’s decision as it was read in court, mocking it up on his Infowars show and using it to raise money. It is unclear when or how much money the plaintiff will ultimately see. Jones said he would appeal the decision and said on Wednesday’s broadcast that he “has no money” to pay the huge sum awarded to the plaintiff by the jury. Plaintiff’s attorney, Christopher Mattei, has urged the jury to pay at least $500 million in damages to the client’s life for permanent damage. He said that the figure Jones’ Sandy Hook lie, which he allegedly received online, would represent more than 550 million online impressions. “You could say it’s astronomical, yes,” Mattei said. “It was set up by Alex Jones himself. That’s what he built. He built a lying machine that could push it out. You reap what you see.” The Connecticut decision comes two months after a separate jury in Texas decided that Jones and his company should award an award to Sandy Hook’s two parents, who have sued Jones and his company in the state for nearly $50 million. The judge in the case will consider whether to reduce the punitive damages imposed under Texas law.Jones initially lied about the 2012 shooting, but later admitted that the genocide took place in the face of multiple lawsuits However, he failed to comply with a court order in discovering lawsuits in Connecticut and Texas, resulting in families from each state winning a default judgment against him.In a recent trial, the family of Sandy Hook victim found out how Jones’ lies about the shootings was not theirs. He provided emotional testimony to the jury in haunting terms as to how he had permanently changed lives and increased the pain of losing a loved one: Jones, who had been cross-examined by plaintiff’s counsel but decided not to defend himself as originally planned, had He tried to portray himself as a victim of an elaborate “deep” conspiracy, and at a particularly explosive moment in the trial, Jones made outspoken rants about “liberals” in court after he entangled with plaintiff’s lawyers, accusing him of “chasing an ambulance.” The judge overseeing the case admonished Jones several times while testifying, warning him that future violations of his rules could result in contempt for the courts, referring to the proceedings as “kangaroo court” proceedings He attacked the judicial process while acknowledging that he was called a “tyrant.” He has already announced plans to appeal. This story is breaking news and will be updated.

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