11 Nov 2022 By theguardian
The conspiracy theorist Alex Jones must pay $473m in punitive damages on top of a nearly $1bn verdict handed down last month for his defamatory claims about the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting, a Connecticut judge ruled on Thursday.
On 14 December 2012, a gunman murdered his mother, then killed 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook elementary school before killing himself. The conspiracy theories amplified by Infowars on its website, social media and a show hosted by Jones led to years of threats and other harassment of the parents of the murdered children.
In a separate order late on Wednesday, state judge Barbara Bellis temporarily blocked Jones from moving any personal assets out of the country. The ruling came at the request of the plaintiffs, who claim Jones is trying to hide assets to avoid paying damages.
The verdict in Connecticut came two months after Jones and the parent company of his Infowars site were hit with a nearly $50m verdict in a similar case brought by two Sandy Hook parents in Austin, Texas, where Infowars is based.