The communicator Alex Jones, famous for spreading conspiracy theories, was sentenced to pay 4.1 million dollars to the parents of a minor killed in the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012.
Alex Jones was found guilty of falsely claiming the shooting was a giant hoax or fabrication by the media and politicians. He even went so far as to say that the parents of the victims were actors hired to cry on television.
The jury reached the verdict after two weeks of trial in Austin, Texas.
Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, estranged parents of slain six-year-old Jesse Lewis, testified that Jones supporters harassed them and sent death threats for years in the false belief that the parents were lying about their son’s death.
Federico Reynal, Jones’ attorney, acknowledged during his closing argument that Jones and Infowars reported “irresponsibly” on Sandy Hook, but said his client was not responsible for the harassment.
The trial drew national attention because in the last interrogation, the victims’ lawyer surprised Jones with a series of unpublished messages that came from his own cell phone, which were sent by mistake by the defense team of the statement.
Answering questions on the stand, Alex Jones acknowledged that the shooting was “100 percent real” and grew apologetic to the parents. The defense attorney called the apology insincere.
With information from Reuters and Law&Crime Network.