InfoWars host Alex Jones was ordered to pay $4.1 million by an Austin jury Thursday after a lawsuit by the family of a 6-year-old victim killed in the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin’s son Jesse Lewis died after 20-year-old Adam Lanza opened fire inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, killing 20 children and six adults. They sued Jones for $150 million for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress for making false statements and repeated suggestions that the incident was a hoax, according to NBC News.
The jury was asked to conclude whether Jones should pay the family for emotional stress and reputational damage, according to NBC News. The judge had reportedly already found Jones liable for not turning over relevant evidence before trial kicked off and, denied the request of Jones’ attorney, Andino Reynal, for a mistrial Thursday following his team sending a digital copy of Jones’ cellphone to opposing counsel by mistake, the outlet reported.
Reynal said his client paid the price already after being removed from social media platforms and losing followers several years ago, NBC News reported. He requested the jury to only award the family $1.
“He made a terrible mistake,” Reynal said during the defamation trial. “That mistake was weaponized by the same political forces that had descended upon Sandy Hook when it happened.”
The core of the trial stemmed in part from Jones suggesting Heslin lied about holding his son “with a bullet hole through his head,” according to NBC News. Heslin made the comment about holding his son during an episode of “Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly” in 2017. The couple argued during testimony that Jones perpetuated fear through his remarks about the shooting. (RELATED: Alex Jones Realized On The Stand That His Lawyers Accidentally Sent Private Texts To His Opposition)
“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,” Lewis said during her testimony. “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.”
In addition to Heslin and Lewis, several other families have sued Jones and InfoWars after the shooting. Jones lost another lawsuit in October 2021 filed by Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, whose son, Noah Ponzer, died in the shooting. Their lawsuit alleged that Jones suggested the shooting was staged by the government and that the parents of the victims were part of the act. The judge ordered him to pay “reasonable attorney’s fees in connection with Plaintiff’s Motion.”