Notorious American conspiracy theorist is now on the hook for a total of $1.49 billion in damages in two Sandy Hook defamation cases that went to trial this year, with the third case pending in Texas.

Alex Jones, the founder of the notorious website InfoWars and host of a popular radio show, has been found liable in multiple defamation lawsuits brought by relatives of the victims.
Alex Jones, the founder of the notorious website InfoWars and host of a popular radio show, has been found liable in multiple defamation lawsuits brought by relatives of the victims. (Reuters Archive)

A US judge has ordered far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay an additional $473 million in damages for falsely claiming that the deadly 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting was a "hoax."

Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis, who presided over the case and was responsible for determining punitive damages, tacked on another $473 million on Thursday.

Jones and his media company, Free Speech Systems, engaged in "attacks on the plaintiffs for nearly a decade, including during the trial, wanton, malicious and heinous conduct," Bellis said.

"This depravity, and cruel, persistent course of conduct by the defendants establishes the highest degree of reprehensibility and blameworthiness," she added.

A jury in Connecticut, where the massacre took place, awarded $965 million last month to the families of eight Sandy Hook victims and an FBI agent who brought a defamation case against Jones.

Jones is now on the hook for a total of $1.49 billion in damages in two Sandy Hook defamation cases that went to trial this year. A third case is pending in Texas.

In a separate order late Wednesday, Bellis temporarily blocked Jones from moving any personal assets out of the country. 

Jones, the founder of the notorious website InfoWars and host of a popular radio show, has been found liable in multiple defamation lawsuits brought by relatives of the victims of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, which left 20 children and six teachers dead.

The 48-year-old Jones claimed for years on his show that the Sandy Hook shooting was "staged" by gun control activists and that the parents were "crisis actors," but has since acknowledged it was "100 percent real."

READ MORE: US conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay $965M for school shooting lies

Multiple defamation lawsuits

Sandy Hook families testified during the trial that his lies and denialism, coupled with his ability to influence the beliefs of thousands of followers, caused real emotional trauma.

They recounted how they were harassed and threatened by Jones' fans.

Jones was also accused of pulling in massive profits from various products he sold on his website.

A Texas jury ordered Jones earlier this year to pay nearly $50 million in damages to Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose six-year-old son Jesse was killed by the 20-year-old gunman behind the Sandy Hook shooting.

In the trial held in Waterbury, Connecticut, less than 30 kilometres from Newtown, a six-person jury awarded a total of $965 million in damages for defamation, slander and emotional distress to 15 plaintiffs.

Among them was William Aldenberg, an FBI agent who responded to the Sandy Hook shooting and joined the families in filing the lawsuit against Jones. He was awarded $90 million.

InfoWars declared bankruptcy in April and Free Speech Systems also recently filed for bankruptcy.

Jones, a vocal supporter of former president Donald Trump, is also under scrutiny over the January 6, 2021 assault on the US Capitol.

Trump appeared frequently on Jones's radio show during his 2016 White House campaign and Jones was in Washington when supporters of the then-president stormed Congress in a bid to prevent certification of Democrat Joe Biden's election victory.

READ MORE: Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones ordered to pay $49.3M over Sandy Hook lies

Source: TRTWorld and agencies