EXCLUSIVE: Swimming upstream! Alex Jones is seen chilling out in the pool at luxe Omaha hotel after he was ordered to pay $50million to families of the Sandy Hook shooting
- DailyMail.com obtained a photo of the Infowars host, 48, relaxing at a pool Thursday at the four-star Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska
- Jones was later seen grinning and giving a thumbs up to the camera as his wife Erika Wulff Jones sat on his lap in what looks like a café
- He appeared carefree even after he was ordered to pay nearly $50milion to the families of the Sandy Hook shooting last week
- The prominent conspiracy theorist was found last year to have defamed the parents of a six-year-old boy who died in the shooting by spreading lies that they were part of a government plot to stage the 2012 massacre
- Jones finally admitted that the shooting was ‘100 percent real’ during his defamation trial
Alex Jones appears not to have a care in the world as he’s seen relaxing at a hotel pool in Omaha a week after he was ordered to pay nearly $50milion to the families of the Sandy Hook shooting.
DailyMail.com obtained a photo of the Infowars host, 48, relaxing in the shallow end Thursday at the four-star Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska, where rooms start at $150 a night.
He was later seen grinning and giving a thumbs up to the camera as his wife Erika Wulff Jones sat on his lap in what looks to be a café.
The prominent conspiracy theorist was decompressing after the two-week-long trial that ended with Jones admitting that the Sandy Hook massacre was not a hoax and being ordered to pay $49million to the families for his lies.
Alex Jones was seen relaxing at a posh hotel pool in Omaha a week after he was ordered to pay nearly $50milion to the families of the Sandy Hook shooting
DailyMail.com obtained a photo of the Infowars host relaxing in the shallow end Thursday at the four-star Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel in Omaha
He was later seen grinning and giving a thumbs up to the camera as his wife Erika Wulff Jones sat on his lap in what looks to be a café
The couple were seen relaxing at the Cottonwood Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska, where rooms start at $150 a night
Jones was ordered to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages to the family of slain 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, one of the 26 people were shot dead in the Sandy Hook massacre. That’s in addition to the $4 million in compensatory damages he was ordered to pay to parents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis.
Jones will likely pay only a fraction of the $45.2million in punitive damages and could end up owing as little as 10 percent.
The broadcaster was found last year to have defamed Heslin and Lewis by spreading lies that they were part of a government plot to stage the 2012 massacre in Connecticut.
An attorney for the parents believes the damages will likely be capped at $4.5 million, however Jones’ lawyer predicts it could be even less.
Attorney Federico Andino Reynal, who represented Jones, said in court Friday that he will seek to reduce the $45.2 million punitive damages award because it does not comply with Texas law.
While juries have broad discretion on awards, states law caps punitive damages at $750,000 when economic losses are not involved, as in this case.
Reynal confirmed on Monday that he plans to invoke the cap. According to the New York Times, he expects the punitive award to be reduced to $1.5 million.
Mark Bankston, an attorney for the parents, said Monday that because Jones and his company face three claims each, he estimates the cap would be $4.5 million.
Bankston said he will argue the damages cap does not apply, but declined to elaborate further.
Judge Maya Guerra Gamble, who presided over the case, must approve the final amount, a decision that is expected soon.
Alex Jones (pictured August 2) will likely pay only a fraction of the $45 million in punitive damages awarded to the parents of a young boy killed in the Sandy Hook massacre
A Texas jury ordered Jones to pay Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis $45.2 million punitive damages and $4.1 million in compensatory damages. PICTURED: J.T. Lewis, Sophia Vetare, Mark Bankston, Bill Ogden, Neil Heslin, Kyle Farrar, Scarlett Lewis and Wesley Ball gather for a photo after jurors return a punitive damages verdict on Friday
Scarlett Lewis, mother of 6-year-old Sandy Hook shooting victim Jesse Lewis, told Alex Jones while testifying in court, “you’re not going to stop’. Jesse’s father Neil Heslin became emotional during his testimony during the trial for Alex Jones
Several defamation lawyers have said they were skeptical that the parents will be able to get around the cap.
‘They’re not going to collect it all – no way,’ Texas defamation lawyer Chuck Sanders said.
The initial number will still be a lasting deterrent to spreading misinformation if the verdict is cut significantly, Sanders said.
Even if the parents can convince Judge Gamble that the cap should not apply, Texas Supreme Court precedent holds that the ratio of punitive to compensatory damages should rarely exceed four-to-one.
The jury’s verdict in this case represents an 11-to-1 ratio.
In reaching their decision, the Texas justices cited a 2003 decision by the US Supreme Court, which said that the ratio of punitive to compensatory damages should only exceed single digits in rare cases.
Jones’ company, Free Speech Systems LLC, filed for bankruptcy protection on July 29, pausing two other Sandy Hook cases against Jones.
An attorney for the parents believes the damages will likely be capped at $4.5 million, however Jones’ lawyer predicts it could be around $1.5 million. Jones and Reynal are pictured outside the Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas, on July 26, 2022
Attorney Bill Ogden gives Scarlett Lewis, mother of 6-year-old shooting victim Jesse Lewis, a hug after jurors return a punitive damages verdict of $45.2 million against Alex Jones
Lawyers for Heslin and Lewis said they hoped a big-money verdict against Jones would serve as a deterrent to him and others who peddle misinformation for profit.
‘I am asking you to take the bullhorn away from Alex Jones and all of the others who believe they can profit off of fear and misinformation,’ attorney Wesley Ball said in his closing argument Friday.
‘The gold rush of fear and misinformation must end, and it must end today.’
Jones, who has since acknowledged the Sandy Hook shooting was real, has claimed his statements about massacre were protected by the First Amendment. He even showed up to court with ‘Save the 1st’ scrawled on a piece of tape over his mouth.
But despite the public theatrics, Jones never got to make that argument in court. After he failed to comply with orders to hand over critical evidence, a judge entered a default judgment for the plaintiffs and skipped right to the punishment phase.
Reynal told the jury during closing arguments that a large judgment would have a chilling effect on people seeking to hold governments accountable.
‘You’ve already sent a message. A message for the first time to a talk show host, to all talk show hosts, that their standard of care has to change,’ Reynal told jurors.
As for Jones, Reynal said he isn’t going away any time soon. He’ll remain on the air while they appeal the verdict, one of the largest and highest-profile decisions in a defamation case in recent years.
Among others: a gadfly ordered in February to pay $50 million to a South Carolina mayor after accusing her in emails of committing a crime and being unfit for office; a former tenant ordered in 2016 to pay $38.3 million for posting a website accusing a real estate investor of running a Ponzi scheme; and a New Hampshire mortgage provider ordered in 2017 to pay $274 million to three businessmen after he posted billboards accusing them of drug dealing and extortion.