A Texas jury has decided to penalize Alex Jones with $45.2 million in punitive damages in a lawsuit filed by the parents of Sandy Hook shooting victim Jesse Lewis.
The award came one day after the jury settled on $4.1 million in compensatory damages.
According to CNN, the jurors began deliberating around 12:30 pm CT on Friday, after Judge Maya Guerra Gamble reminded them that in a default judgment against him Jones was already found liable for defamation against Lewis’ parents, Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin
intentional infliction of emotional distress”
In his closing argument, Lewis and Heslin’s attorney Wesley Todd Ball thanked the jury for their decision to award the $4.1 million, saying it had already made a huge difference in the parents’ lives, and asked them to award enough in punitive damages to bring the total to $150 million.
Jones claimed in his testimony that a jury award of just $2 million would destroy him financially. But on Friday morning the jurors heard testimony about Jones’ wealth from an economist, Bernard Pettingill, Jr., who estimated Jones has a net worth of between $135 million and $270 million.
Punitive damages are a form of punishment for a defendant’s behavior. Jones, the head of the conspiratorial media outlet Infowars, repeatedly lied about the Sandy Hook massacre. Jones stoked conspiracy theories about the victims and their families, prompting multiple defamation lawsuits.
Jones has since acknowledged that the mass shooting occurred.
LAWYER: “You’ve been broadcasting a picture of our judge on fire, correct?”— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) August 4, 2022
ALEX JONES: “No.”
*Shows pic of him broadcasting judge on fire* 🤦🏻♂️ pic.twitter.com/tIwKuwT4cN