Alex Jones ordered to pay nearly $1bn in damages to Sandy Hook families

Conspiracy theorist for years claimed 2012 massacre of 26 people was a hoax

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was ordered to pay nearly $1 billion in damages for saying that the 2012 Sandy Hook primary school shooting was a hoax. Reuters
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Infowars founder and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones must pay nearly $1 billion in damages to the families of those killed or those affected by the 2012 Sandy Hook primary school shooting after he falsely claimed the massacre had been faked.

Wednesday's decision from a Connecticut jury is vindication for the families who for a decade have received death threats from Jones's followers.

In total, Jones must pay $965 million to eight Sandy Hook families and one FBI agent represented in the case. Robbie Parker, whose 6-year-old daughter Emilie was killed in the shooting, was awarded $120m.

"What we were able to accomplish is just to simply tell the truth," Mr Parker said outside the courthouse after the verdict was reached.

"It shouldn’t be this hard and it shouldn’t be this scary."

A lawyer representing eight Sandy Hook families said that Jones profited off the lies he told about the mass shooting for years.

The verdict came after three weeks of testimony inside the courthouse in the town of Waterbury, about 20 kilometres from Newtown, the site of the school where 20 children and six teachers were killed.

Jones was not in the courtroom when the verdict was delivered. He was instead voicing his frustration on his programme.

The judge overseeing the case must next consider punitive damages that Jones would have to pay on top of Wednesday's compensatory damages.

This is the second defamation trial that Jones has faced since the 2012 shooting.

In August, Jones and his company were ordered to pay $49.3m to another pair of Sandy Hook parents in Austin, Texas, where Infowars is based.

Updated: October 12, 2022, 10:10 PM