A Connecticut judge ordered Alex Jones this week to pay $473 million in punitive damages to the families of victims killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012 that took the lives of 20 elementary school students and six adult school employees.
The new judgment, handed down by Judge Barbara Bellis in Waterbury, Connecticut on Thursday, brings the total of Jones’ required payouts related to the Sandy Hook massacre to $1.44 billion.
Jones has been found guilty in several lawsuits of defaming the families, accusing them of being crisis actors, and spreading conspiracy theories about the shooting via his website, InfoWars.
The judge wrote in her ruling that Jones had clearly made the false claims intentionally and maliciously.
“The record clearly supports the plaintiffs’ argument that the defendants’ conduct was intentional and malicious, and certain to cause harm by virtue of their infrastructure, ability to spread content, and massive audience including the infowarriors,” the ruling reads.
The likelihood of Jones paying out the full amount ordered to the plaintiffs in the various suits hangs in the balance, as Jones says he simply does not have it.
On his show this week following the ruling, Jones told his audience, “Well, of course I’m laughing at it. It’d be like if you sent me a bill for a billion dollars in the mail … when they know full well the bankruptcy going on and all the rest of it, that it’ll show what I’ve got and that’s it, and I have almost nothing.”
Judge Bellis added in her ruling, “The record also establishes that the defendants repeated the conduct and attacks on the plaintiffs for nearly a decade, including during the trial, wanton, malicious, and heinous conduct that caused harm to the plaintiffs. This depravity, and cruel, persistent course of conduct by the defendants establishes the highest degree of reprehensibility and blameworthiness.”
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