award there was much less from the jury than the plaintiffs, Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, had asked for. for. AT start of court, lawyers for Lewis and Heslin asked the jury award their clients $150 million. in compensatory damages.
A separate, shorter trial is now expected, during which punitive damages will be discussed. Penalties are awarded when the court finds the defendant guilty behavior be especially offensive.
Mark Bankston, lawyer for The parents told CNN that the plaintiffs are happy with jury decision noting that they also received money before the trial in connection with the sanctions, the court had hit Jones with.
“Having already received $1.5 million in fines from Mr. Jones, the plaintiffs now have to pay them $5.6 million, which Alex Jones will have to pay,” Bankston said.
“Neil and Scarlett are delighted with in result and look forward put mr jones money to good use” Bankston added. “Mr. Jones on the other hand won’t sleep well tonight. Considering that the decision on punitive damages is yet to be decided and there are several additional defamation lawsuits pending, clear what time mr jones on the American scene is finally coming to an end.”
Advocate for Jones could not be reached immediately for comment.
decision from the jury is a partial completion of a multi-year process that began in 2018 when Lewis and Heslin sued Jones and his company Free Speech Systems, which is parent of right media organization Infowars.
Jones unreasonably said in in aftermath of shooting Sandy Hook, in which 26 people were killed that the incident was staged. Faced with numerous lawsuits, Jones later admitted that the shooting had taken place. He testified in court this week that he now believes it is “100% real.”
But Jones failed fulfill with court rulings under investigation of claim. His failure this resulted in Heslin and Lewis winning absentee judgments against Jones.
Judge Maya Guerra Gamble rules in October that Jones was legal responsible for causing emotional discomfort on Heslin and Lewis. Gambling also ruled that Jones was responsible for slander against Heslin.
Jones claimed in his testimony that the jury award of just $2 million destroy his financially.
But the accountant who now in accusation of ran Jones’ Free Speech Systems company, parent of his conspiratorial media edition of Infowars, testified in The bankruptcy court on Wednesday said Jones took about $62 million out of the company. over 14 years, of about $30 million was paid out by the IRS.
And the accountant testified that Infowars received about $9 million. in cryptocurrency donations and that “they went directly Mr Jones.
decision punish Jones in such terms also comes at a seismic moment in An American society where lies and conspiracy theories flourished in last years.
The jury’s decision, while much lower than what plaintiffs’ lawyers asked for, sends a message to those who promote lies in public conversation, whether for political power or financial get what might be the consequences for such behavior.
“The word is free, but you have to pay for lies for”Sandy Hook” family lawyers argued with the jury during opening statements and closing arguments.
Struggle back tears at timesHeslin told jurors that Jones, thanks to his conspiracy theories media organization Infowars, “tarnished honor and heritage” of his son. Heslin said he couldn’t “even begin describe last nine plushalf years of hell” he went through because of Jones and described in detail how he is afraid of for in safety of himself and his family.
At a significant moment in court, Lewis said directly Jones, saying that she wanted contact him face.
“Jesse was realLewis Jones said. – I real Mother.”
Lewis told jurors she thinks monetary compensation is appropriate. in case because she doesn’t believe Jones would ever stop him otherwise behavior.
“There was no sincere apology,” she said. “But if it were ever, I liken it to being in a car accident and you run over someone and cause huge bodily injury and you look at that person lying on ground and say “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m not responsible for Any of damage that I just caused. But I’m sorry. it how I see it.”
Lewis also reflection on that it meant that the court should ever have taken place.
“It seems so incredible to me that we should do this,” Lewis told Jones. “What should we beg you – not just begging you, punishing you – to stop lying… It’s surreal what’s happening on in here.”
Trial in Texas one of three that are expected play out over in next pair of months.
different group of The Sandy Hook families sued Jones in Connecticut. These families also won absentee decision against Jones, and the court was scheduled for begin in September. But the jury selection was suspended on the same day it began earlier this week and the trial may be delayed because of bankruptcy filing from Free Speech Systems.
Lawyers representing some of the Sandy Hook families accused Jones of of exhausting free speech systems of assets in recent years with of an attempt to protect himself from potential judgments he might be ordered to pay.
One of lawyers, Avi Moshenberg, told CNN on Tuesday when filing for bankruptcy made Free Speech Systems indicated that $62 million in assets was taken out of the company in 2021 and 2022.
“If you look at the bankruptcy filing, leading up to the declaration of bankruptcy, Alex Jones, sole owner [of Free Speech Systems], took $62 million in draws in 2021 and 2022, Moshenberg told CNN. up draws. Therefore, the company has little assets.”
– Sonia Moge of CNN contributed to the story.