Jury deliberations underway in Sandy Hook case

After hearing seven days of evidence and a series of witnesses, jurors began deliberations to determine how much money InfoWars host Alex Jones should pay the parents of Sandy Hook shooting victim Jesse Lewis, 6 years, for his campaign to portray the attack on the school. like a decoy.

The case went to jurors late Wednesday afternoon, and state District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble said she doubted they would go beyond selecting a foreman and reading of the jury’s statement before the courthouse closes at 5 p.m.

The real work starts today.

Alex Jones tries to answer questions about his emails posed by Mark Bankston, attorney for Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, during the trial at the Travis County Courthouse on Wednesday August 3, 2022. Jones was found guilty of defamed the parents of a Sandy Hook student for calling the attack a hoax.

Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis asked jurors for $150 million in compensation for actual damages, claiming Jones’ portrayal of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting as a hoax intended to justify a government crackdown on firearms. fire – and parents as liars or collaborators – inspired harassment and death threats from Jones supporters and made recovery from the tragedy impossible.

Jones’s attorney, Andino Reynal, asked jurors to award a total of $8 to $1 for each of the eight harms the court has already found Jones and his main company, Free Speech Systems, inflicted on parents of Jesse.

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At least 10 of the 12 jurors must agree on a verdict. The four alternates, two more than usual due to the pandemic and the two-week trial length, were fired on Thursday.

Kyle Farrar, attorneys representing Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, present oral argument Wednesday, August 3, 2022 at the Travis County Courthouse.  Heslin and Lewis are seeking two $150 million awards from Austin-based conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.  Jones was convicted of defaming the parents of a Sandy Hook student for calling the attack a hoax.

Before hearing oral argument on Thursday, jurors were told that Jones and Free Speech Systems defamed Heslin in two 2017 InfoWars reports that challenged his claim that he held his son dead and saw the bullet being shot at him. injured in the head after the shooting. Heslin testified that he made the statement in an NBC interview in hopes of stopping Jones’ campaign and protecting the legacy of his son, who died a hero shouting “Run!” when the shooter stopped. Nine students fled; Jesse didn’t.

After:Alex Jones says trial is ‘kangaroo court’

Jurors must determine the amount of money that would fairly compensate Heslin for past and future damage to his reputation and past and future mental anguish caused by the defamatory reports.

Jurors were also told Jones and company intentionally inflicted emotional distress on Heslin and Lewis by repeatedly portraying the Sandy Hook shooting as a hoax from 2012 to 2018, when they filed a lawsuit. Every parent can be compensated for past and future mental anguish.

Andino Reynal, attorney for Alex Jones, gives his closing argument Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, at the Travis County Courthouse in Austin.  Jones was convicted of defaming the parents of a Sandy Hook student for calling the attack a hoax.

In closing arguments, parents’ attorney Kyle Farrar reminded jurors that they were asked during jury selection if they could approve a compensation award of $100 million or more. Those who couldn’t were eliminated during the selection process, he said.

“This is your opportunity to hold Alex Jones accountable for the harm he has done,” Farrar said.

Reynal said the parents, their expert witnesses and their attorneys failed to prove that they were actually and directly harmed by Jones’ comments.

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