Jury Hears Jones and internet Blamed in Closing Arguments

Deliberations on damages begins in Connecticut
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 6, 2022 3:25 PM CDT
Jury Hears Closing Arguments in Alex Jones' Sandy Hook Case
Norm Pattis, attorney for Alex Jones, addresses the court during his closing statements in the Alex Jones Sandy Hook defamation damages trial Thursday.   (H John Voorhees III/Hearst Connecticut Media via AP, Pool)

A lawyer for families of eight people killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre told a jury Thursday that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones started lying about the shooting the day it happened and provided the machinery that allowed that lie to spread. Jones' attorney countered by telling the jury his client didn't "invent the internet" and argued jurors should not award excessive damages just because they are angry about the harassment the families went through at the hands of others who also believed the lie that the shooting was a hoax. The attorneys presented their closing arguments Thursday in a Connecticut courtroom, the AP reports.

At issue is the amount of money Jones and his company, Free Speech Systems, should pay for representing to the audience of his Infowars show that the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax staged to build support for gun control laws. Plaintiff attorney Christopher Mattei told the jury that it was because of Jones and his Infowars platform the the families have been subjected to a decade of torment at the hands of conspiracy theorists. "As soon as he did it, everyone else came coming in over him," Mattei said. "The threats, the harassment, the fear, the allegations of actors, when every single one of these families were drowning in grief. And Alex Jones put his foot right on top."

Mattei suggested to jurors that they award the plaintiffs at least $550 million, telling them Jones will spread lies about other shootings and other families if they don't make him understand the harm his comments caused. Mattei tied that dollar amount to the estimated 550 million views of the Sandy Hook content on Jones' and Infowars' social media accounts from 2012 to 2018. Defense attorney Norm Pattis presented a 19-minute video from a 2018 episode of Jones' Infowars show in which Jones accuses the media of misrepresenting his position for "questioning" Sandy Hook and bringing it up long after he acknowledged the shooting happened. "It's edited and then it's brought back up as if I'm bringing it back up," Jones says in the video. Deliberations began later Thursday, per the Washington Post.

(More Alex Jones stories.)

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