The hefty charge comes on top of another $4.1 million compensatory charge that the jury directed Jones to pay to Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, the parents of 6-year-old Jesse, who was killed at Sandy Hook alongside 19 other children and six educators. The trial is the first of three over conspiratorial comments Jones made following the Sandy Hook tragedy denying it had happened.
Jones will sit for two more trials next month, one more in Texas and another in Delaware, and face the families of more of the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre. The families allege that Jones defamed them in the aftermath of the tragedy.
In closing comments on Friday, Lewis and Heslin’s attorney Todd Ball told the jury: “We ask that you send a very, very simple message, and that is, stop Alex Jones. Stop the monetization of misinformation and lies. Please.”
Jones’ attorney Andino Reynal argued to the jury that a fair fine for the Infowars host would be roughly a quarter of a million dollars, according to CNN. Reynal said Jones should be fined according to his purported earnings of $14,000 per hour for the 18 hours he made false claims about Sandy Hook in the aftermath of the shooting.
Reynal had also asked the jury for a low penalty the day before when the jury was set to decide compensatory damages. Reynal argued that Jones had made a “terrible mistake” and asked the jury to fine his client just $1.
“He made a terrible mistake,” Reynal told jurors, according to NBC News. “That mistake was weaponized by the same political forces that had descended upon Sandy Hook when it happened.”
During the trial, Jones testified that the media and his critics had never allowed for him to take back his comments, despite his retractions and admissions that he was wrong.
Both parents testified during the trial. Heslin said that “the negligence and recklessness of Alex Jones” had made his life a “living hell.”
Lewis said, “having a 6-year-old son shot in front of his classroom is unbearable and you don’t think you’re going to survive and then to have someone on top of that perpetuate a lie that it was a hoax, that it was a false flag.”
“I don’t think you understand the fear you perpetuate, not just to the victim’s family but to our family, our friends and any survivor from that school,” Lewis added.
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