WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut jury deliberated Tuesday but has reached no verdict so far in its effort to decide on how much conspiracy theorist Alex Jones should pay for spreading the lie that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was staged by “crisis actors.”
The jurors ended their second full day of discussions by asking to revisit testimony Wednesday from William Sherlach, who lost his wife, Mary, in the massacre. He is one of the plaintiffs in the defamation lawsuit.
Jones and his company, Free Speech Systems, were found liable for damages last year to 15 plaintiffs for broadcasting a conspiracy theory that no children died in the shooting and that the victims’ relatives were part of an elaborate hoax.
Twenty-six people died in the attack at the school in Newtown, Connecticut. Jones repeatedly told his millions of followers on his Infowars website show that the shooting didn’t happen.
In often-emotional and tearful testimony in a Waterbury courtroom, victims’ relatives and the FBI agent said they have been tormented and threatened — in person, by mail and on social media — by people who believed those lies.
The plaintiffs’ lawyers have suggested to the jury that a just verdict could be in the hundred of millions of dollars. Jones’ lawyer has said any damages awarded should be minimal.
Jurors asked Tuesday morning for help interpreting a sentence in their instructions on determining damages. In response, they were advised to consider the lengthy instructions as a whole.
The trial began Sept. 13. On the witness stand, Jones said he was “done saying I’m sorry” for calling the shooting a hoax. Outside the courthouse, he’s called the legal proceedings a “show trial” aimed at putting him out of business.
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