On Thursday, a Connecticut judge ordered Infowars host Alex Jones to pay an additional $473 million to the families of eight people killed in the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The judgment handed down by Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis added punitive damages to the $965 million in compensatory damages a jury awarded to the families last month. Bellis commented that the large payout punishes Jones, 48, for knowingly spreading conspiracy theories to gain revenue while endangering the victims’ families, according to The Hartford Courant.
Bellis also noted that Jones harassed the Sandy Hook victims’ families for a decade.
“This depravity and cruel, persistent course of conduct by the defendants establishes the highest degree of reprehensibility and blameworthiness,” she wrote, per The Hartford Courant.
In regard to punitive damages, the judge determined that Jones owes roughly $323 million in legal fees and $150 million for violating the state’s unfair trade practices law.
In 2012, Adam Lanza killed his mother before entering Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown and fatally shooting 20 children and six adults. Lanza then turned the gun on himself.
Over the years, Sandy Hook shooting victims’ families have faced unfounded accusations — fanned by Jones and his cohorts — that they faked their children’s deaths. Specifically, Jones said on his platform that the 2012 mass shooting was a “false flag” operation committed by “crisis actors.” At some points, the victims’ families have had to prove their slain children’s existence.
In addition to the families of eight shooting victims, an FBI agent was also awarded a judgment last month. The $965 million in compensatory damages are as follows:
- Robert Parker, father of 6-year-old Emilie Parker: $120,000,000
- William Sherlach, husband of 56-year-old school employee Mary Sherlach: $36,000,000
- David Wheeler, father of 6-year-old Ben Wheeler: $55,000,000
- Francine Wheeler, mother of 6-year-old Ben Wheeler: $54,000,000
- Jacqueline Barden, mother of 7-year-old Daniel Barden: $28,800,000
- Mark Barden, father of 7-year-old Daniel Barden: $57,600,000
- Nicole Hockley, mother of 6-year-old Dylan Hockley: $73,600,000
- Ian Hockley, father of 6-year-old Dylan Hockley: $81,600,000
- Jennifer Hensel, for the estate of Jeremy Richman (died by suicide), father of 6-year-old Avielle Richman: $52,000,000
- Donna Soto, mother of teacher Victoria Soto: $48,000,000
- Carlee Soto-Parisi, sister of teacher Victoria Soto: $66,000,000
- Carlos Matthew Soto, brother of teacher Victoria Soto: $57,600,000
- Jillian Soto-Marino, sister of teacher Victoria Soto: $68,800,000
- William Aldenberg, FBI agent and first responder: $90,000,000
- Erica Lafferty/trustee Richard M. Coan, daughter of school principal Dawn Hochsprung: $76,000,000
The Hartford Courant reported that Jones’ legal team is already in the process of having the verdict vacated and reducing the damages awards.
In August, a Texas jury ordered Jones to pay roughly $49 million to the parents of 6-year-old Sandy Hook shooting victim Jesse Lewis.
A third lawsuit filed by a Sandy Hook family is pending.
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[Featured image: Alex Jones/AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File]