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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Abigail O'Leary

Conspiracy nut Alex Jones forced to pay Sandy Hook shooting victims almost $1 billion

Conspiracy nut Alex Jones will be forced to pay almost one billion dollars in damages to the families of Sandy Hook school shooting victims.

Right-wing Jones, from Austin, Texas, has been successfully sued for defamation for one of his most despicable suggestions that the 2012 killings were staged.

The massacre saw 20 children and six adults killed, sending shockwaves around the world.

Sick Jones claimed that the Sandy Hook mass shooting was a "hoax" and that the parents of the 20 child victims were "crisis actors".

Jones must now pay at least $965 million (£870 million) for falsely claiming they were actors who faked the tragedy.

The verdict, which came after three weeks of testimony in a state court in Waterbury, Connecticut, far outstripped the $49 million (£44.2 million) he was ordered to pay by a Texas jury in a similar case in August.

Sick Jones claimed that the Sandy Hook mass shooting was a "hoax" and that parents of the 20 child victims were "crisis actors" (REUTERS)

According to NBC reporter Ben Collins, after the compensation figure was announced, Jones said on his show: "This must be what Hell's like, they just read out the damages. Even though you don't got the money."

Jurors said the plaintiffs should also be awarded attorney's fees, which are set to be determined in November.

Lawyers for families of eight Sandy Hook victims during closing arguments in Connecticut last week said Jones cashed in for years on lies about the shooting, which drove traffic to his Infowars website and boosted sales of its various products.

The families, meanwhile, suffered a decade-long campaign of harassment and death threats by Jones’ followers, attorney Chris Mattei said.

“Every single one of these families (was) drowning in grief, and Alex Jones put his foot right on top of them,” the lawyer told jurors.

Jones's attorney countered during his closing arguments that the plaintiffs had shown scant evidence of quantifiable losses.

The attorney, Norman Pattis, urged jurors to ignore the political undercurrents in the case.

David Wheeler wipes away tears as attorney Chris Mattei shows a photograph of his family, including son Ben, during his closing statements (REUTERS)

A British couple is among the parents who will receive a share of the damages.

Ian and Nicole Hockley's six-year-old son Dylan was among those murdered in the 2012 massacre.

The Sandy Hook tragedy remains the deadliest school shooting in American history.

Lanza, 20, shot the children, aged six and seven, and six adults, made up of school staff and faculty, before killing himself ten years ago.

His mother Nancy was found dead from a gunshot wound at their home.

He lived nearby but had no known connection with the school. The gunman fired over 154 rounds in less than five minutes before killing himself with a shotgun.

Lanza, 20, shot the children, aged six and seven, and six adults, made up of school staff and faculty, before killing himself ten years ago (Reuters)

Far-right Jones has a decades-long career as a leading conspiracy theorist and has propagated a number of wild ideas.

In 1999 Jones founded the website Infowars, which promotes far-right ideas, conspiracy theories and fake news.

He went on to expand his far-right media empire, founding a multitude of podcasts, shows and websites.

Infowars is now reported to get as many as 10 million visitors a month.

Twenty children and seven adults were killed by 20-year-old Adam Lanza in 2021 (AFP/Getty Images)

The Austin national also had a YouTube channel, which he used to present The Alex Jones Show.

Jones racked up around 2.4million subscribers on his YouTube, before his channel was removed.

In 2018 Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify booted Jones' podcasts, pages and channels from their platforms.

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