The lawyer for defeated conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has said his client will continue to fight for his ‘freedom of speech’ – despite a multi-million dollar lawsuit filed against him.
The jury in the civil case awarded the parents of Jesse Lewis more than $78 million (NZD) for libel at the hands of Jones, a far-right maverick who for years claimed responsibility for the murder of their six-year-old son and that of 19 other children at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax.
“There were so many lies, so many things in the past, that I was under pressure,” Jones told the court during the damages trial.
But Jones’ continued airing during the case implied that he felt the process was rigged, and he angrily railed against the judge and jury.
The plaintiff’s attorney, Mark Bankston, said the case proved Jones was wrong – and knew it.
READ MORE: Alex Jones ordered to pay $79.1 million in total for Sandy Hook lies
“You can’t do this to individuals, you can’t torment their lives to push lies that you know are lies, to advance an agenda,” he said.
The families of several Sandy Hook relatives, including those of Jesse Lewis, were forced into hiding and faced death threats from viewers of Jones, believing his false claims that the mass shooting was a government operation to introduce firearms regulations.
“I don’t think you’ll understand until there’s a penalty,” Scarlett Lewis, Jesse’s mother, said, speaking directly to Jones in court.
Although the jury awarded Lewis and Jesse’s father, Neil Heslin, tens of millions in punitive damages, Texas law stipulates a maximum cap – meaning Jones will only pay a fraction of the amount awarded.
Jones is still facing two other damages cases in Texas and Connecticut, brought by other parents of deceased Sandy Hook children.