A Texas jury has ordered far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay the parents of a victim of the Sandy Hook school shooting $45.2 million in punitive damages. The same jury a day earlier awarded the family $4.1 million in compensatory damages, after Jones had been found liable for defamation by a judge over his claims the shooting was "a hoax."
Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose 6-year-old son Jesse was one of 20 children and six adults killed during the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, sued Jones and his media company, Free Speech Systems, in 2018. The couple originally sought at least $150 million in damages.
The decision comes after a week and a half of sometimes emotional testimony in the trial, as Heslin and Lewis described how their lives were affected by Jones' false claims.