WATERBURY, Conn. – Jurors concluded their first full day of deliberations without reaching a verdict Friday in a trial to determine how much conspiracy theorist Alex Jones should pay for spreading the lie that the 2012 Sandy Hook School shooting was a hoax.
Jurors are scheduled to return Tuesday. After deliberating just briefly Thursday afternoon, the panel got back to business Friday with a request for a dry-erase easel, markers, an eraser and a copy of the jury instructions.
Last year, Jones was found liable for damages. The jury's task is to decide how much Jones and his company Free Speech Systems should pay to relatives of eight Sandy Hook victims and to an FBI agent who responded to the massacre.
The plaintiffs testified they have been tormented and threatened by people who believed that one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history was a con staged to build support for gun restrictions. Jones repeatedly publicized that false notion on his “Infowars” show.
Twenty children and six adults were killed when a gunman stormed Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012.
Jones testified in the trial, saying he was “done saying I’m sorry” for calling the school shooting a hoax. His lawyers have argued that he’s not responsible for the deeds of anyone who tormented the victims’ families, and that they are overstating how much harm the conspiracy theory caused them.
Outside court, Jones has bashed the trial as a “kangaroo court” that aims to stomp on his free speech rights and put him out of business.
In a similar trial in Texas in August, a jury ordered Jones to pay nearly $50 million in damages to the parents of one of the children killed in the shooting, because of the hoax lies.
Find AP’s full coverage of the Alex Jones trial at: https://apnews.com/hub/alex-jones