A Connecticut jury on Wednesday ordered Infowars host Alex Jones to pay nearly $1 billion in damages to the family of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting.
The jury’s decision means Jones must pay $965 million in compensatory and punitive damages to 15 plaintiffs, who are the relatives of eight victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut.
The award is far higher than the $550 million that one of the plaintiff’s attorneys had asked for.
Relatives sued Jones after the Infowars host claimed the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax staged by the U.S. government in order to enact stricter gun control measures.
Jones has since apologized for spreading the conspiracy theory and acknowledged he spread a lie.
The jury was not deciding whether Jones was guilty, as the judge had already ruled that Jones is liable for defamation, infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy.
Jurors were to decide how much money he owed each of the victims.
In court, jurors heard how Jones and his company Free Speech Systems made millions of dollars selling nutritional supplements, survival gear and other items.
In August, Jones was ordered to pay nearly $50 million in damages to the relatives of another victim in Texas.
Reacting to the verdict in real time on his live show on Wednesday, the Infowars host did not sound repentant, suggesting the families likely wouldn’t see the money since he didn’t have the funds.
“I’m in bankruptcy,” Jones said, before directing his listeners to support him. ‘We’re fighting Goliath. … You want to fight, that’s fine. That’s where we are, that’s the whacked-out system of the left.”
A gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook elementary in Newton, Conn., one of the deadliest school shootings in modern U.S. history.
Jones, a far-right conspiracy theorist, peddled the false conspiracy that the shooting was staged for years, inflicting additional emotional stress on families who were frequently harassed and threatened by supporters and believers of the conspiracy theory.
Although he has since apologized, the Infowars host said last month in court that he was “done saying I’m sorry.”
“Is this a struggle session? Are we in China? I’ve already said I’m sorry hundreds of times and I’m done saying I’m sorry,” he said.
“Just like all the Iraqis, you liberals killed and love. Just, you’re unbelievable. You switch on emotions, on-and-off when you want. You’re just ambulance chasing,” he added.
Jones faces a third trial in Texas toward the end of the year in a lawsuit brought by the parents of a child killed in the school shooting.
This report was originally published on The Hill.