Alex Jones’ lawyers accidentally sent his text messages to prosecutors
A verdict has been handed down in the trial against Infowar’s founder and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. An Austin, Texas, jury says he must pay more than $4 million in damages to the parents of six-year-old Jesse Lewis, who was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.
Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis filed a defamation lawsuit against Jones over his claims that the school shooting, in which 20 children and six adults were killed, was a hoax.
Both gave impassioned testimony in the witness box about how Jones’ lies – broadcast to millions – had affected their lives and prolonged their grief. Mrs Lewis could confront Jones and look him straight in the eye when talking about her son.
The suit was filed for a total of $150 million with eight separate charges. On Friday, the jury will return to consider evidence related to whether punitive damages should also be awarded to Jones, which could bring the total award much higher.
Jones faces a new lawsuit in Texas brought by another family, and another in Connecticut for the families of eight of the victims. It also emerged during the trial that his own lawyer had mistakenly shared the full contents of Jones’ phone with the opposition’s legal team who have been asked to provide it to the committee on 6 January.
What about punitive damages?
The jury will return tomorrow for the punitive damages portion.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs will call one witness, but Alex Jones will not return to the stand.
The jury will then decide punitive damages in addition to today’s $4,110,000 for actual damages.
There is a cap on what punitive damages can be, but it is considered a reasonable multiplier, perhaps as high as ten times the compensatory damages.
Here, lawyer Mark Bankston explains:
Oliver O’ConnellAugust 4, 2022 10:48 p.m
Jones ordered to pay more than $4 million in compensatory damages to the Sandy Hook family
Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been ordered to pay more than $4 million in restitution to the family of a Sandy Hook victim.
Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose six-year-old son Jesse was among the 20 students and six adults killed in the mass shooting, sued Jones and his media company over claims he has made that the massacre was a “false flag” operation and that the victims did not actually exist.
They had asked for $150 million in compensatory damages, and a new trial to determine punitive damages is now expected to take place on Friday.
Alex Jones ordered to pay more than $4 million in compensatory damages to Sandy Hook family
The Infowars conspiracy theorist claimed within hours of the 2012 massacre that it had been staged and that the victims were not real
Oliver O’ConnellAugust 4, 2022 10:41 p.m
Judgment obtained: Jones must pay $4 million in damages
The jury has reached a verdict but will return at 8.45am tomorrow morning to hear more evidence regarding any punitive damages they may wish to impose.
Alex Jones is already guilty, so on the eight counts the following amounts were awarded to the plaintiffs in damages:
This brings it to a total of more than $4 million. Jones had previously claimed that more than $2 million would wipe out his business.
Oliver O’ConnellAugust 4, 2022 10:29 p.m
The jury returns to the courtroom and sits.
A verdict is handed down by 10 jurors.
Oliver O’ConnellAugust 4, 2022 10:18 p.m
The plaintiffs and the nuisance sets of lawyers are back in the courtroom. Alex Jones is not present.
Judge Maya Guerra Gamble presides.
Oliver O’ConnellAugust 4, 2022 10:17 p.m
Parents of Sandy Hook victim tear into ‘psychopath’ Alex Jones at trial
The father of a 6-year-old boy killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting says “psychopaths like Alex Jones” made healing impossible during his testimony at the Infowars founder’s defamation trial on Tuesday.
Branding Jones a “coward” for skipping his testimony, Neil Heslin lambasted the talking head for his false claims about the mass shooting, sharing that Jones’ theories left his family living in a constant state of fear.
Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of Jesse Lewis, are suing Jones for $150 million for spreading false conspiracy theories about the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, which claimed 26 lives.
Parents of Sandy Hook victims tear into ‘psychopath’ Alex Jones at trial
Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose son Jesse was shot and killed in 2012, took the stand at Alex Jones’ defamation trial on Tuesday
Oliver O’ConnellAugust 4, 2022 9:42 p.m
Alex Jones’ conspiracy theories created a ‘living hell’ for the parents of the Sandy Hook victim
The parents of a 6-year-old killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting described being subjected to a “living hell” of death threats, harassment and ongoing trauma over the past decade when they confronted conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who has used his media platforms to push claims that it was all a hoax.
Sandy Hook parents: Alex Jones claims created ‘living hell’
The parents of a 6-year-old boy killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre say conspiracy theorist Alex Jones made their lives a “living hell” by pushing claims the killings were a hoax.
Oliver O’Connell4 August 2022 20:29
Jones is asking for “prayers” at Infowars when his texts are to be handed over to the inquiry on January 6
Alex Jones asked for the prayers of his Infowars audience as he lashed out at his “damned” lawyers for wrongly handing over a copy of his mobile phone data.
The right-wing conspiracy theorist was stunned when lawyers for a Sandy Hook family suing him for $150 million revealed that his own legal team had accidentally sent them the copy during the trial earlier this week.
Now it appears that the Jan. 6 committee will also get a copy of his text messages and emails.
Alex Jones is asking for “prayers” at Infowars as his texts will go to committee on January 6
Jones called the situation “unbelievably sick” when he complained about what happened to him to viewers
Oliver O’ConnellAugust 4, 2022 7:37 p.m
What’s on Jones’ phone?
Jim Vertuno of the Associated Press tweets that outside the courthouse, attorney Mark Bankston said he doesn’t know all of the footage from Alex Jones’ phone because there was so much he didn’t have enough time to review it all over the past two days.
He is also not aware of whether there is material specific to what the 6 January committee may be looking for. Mr Bankston said that although there is no subpoena from the committee, just a request for the data, he agreed to co-operate.
“We don’t know the full scope and breadth,” Bankston said. “We certainly saw text messages from as far back as 2019 … Considering what’s on that phone, it’s going to take some time to figure that out.”
Oliver O’ConnellAugust 4, 2022 6:58 p.m
Jones loses bid to destroy lyrics
Alex Jones launched an unsuccessful bid to destroy text messages mistakenly sent to lawyers for Sandy Hook families while a jury considers damages owed by the Infowars host for defamation.
Mr Jones’ lawyer Andino Reynal asked for an emergency order of protection on Thursday morning and also asked for a mistrial over the texts he mistakenly sent as part of discovery.
Reynal said the texts contained private medical records and communications covered by attorney-client privilege and accused plaintiff’s attorney Mark Bankston of looking at files unrelated to the case.
Alex Jones loses bid to destroy texts mistakenly sent to Sandy Hook lawyers
Infowars founder’s lawyer Andino Reynal argued that if the Sandy Hook families’ lawyers used the texts, it could amount to a mistrial
Oliver O’ConnellAugust 4, 2022 6:42 p.m