A Texas jury ordered US conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on Friday to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages for falsely claiming that the deadly 2012 Sandy Hook elementary shooting was a “hoax,” IgbereTV reports
The verdict came a day after the same jury awarded a couple whose child died at Sandy Hook $4.1 million in compensatory damages for the emotional stress caused by Jones broadcasting falsehoods for years on his InfoWars online and radio talk shows.
The huge sum ordered from Jones, who for years gathered a sizable following for his often outlandish conspiracy claims, vindicated the lawsuits against him by families of some of the 20 schoolchildren and six adults killed by a 20-year-old man in one of the country’s deadliest school shootings.
The $49.3 million total judgement was far less than the $150 million sought by the plaintiffs in the Texas case, Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose six-year-old son Jesse was killed.
Still, Lewis said that Jones had been “held accountable.”
“Today the jury proved that most of America is ready to choose love over fear and I’ll be forever grateful to them,” Lewis tweeted.
Jones, a vocal supporter of former president Donald Trump, claimed for years on InfoWars that the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, was “staged” by gun control activists