& (CNN) — A Texas jury has decided to penalize Alex Jones with $45.2 million in punitive damages in a lawsuit filed by the parents of Sandy Hook shooting victim Jesse Lewis.
The award, which the judge could reduce, came one day after the jury settled on $4.1 million in compensatory damages.
The jurors began deliberating around 12:30 pm CT on Friday, after Judge Maya Guerra Gamble reminded them that in a default judgment against him Jones was already found liable for defamation and “intentional infliction of emotional distress” against Lewis’ parents, Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin.
In an emotional closing argument Friday, Lewis and Heslin’s attorney Wesley Todd Ball said to the jury, “We ask that you send a very very simple message, and that is, stop Alex Jones. Stop the monetization of misinformation and lies. Please.”
Ball urged the jurors to “deter Alex Jones from ever doing this awfulness again” and “to deter others who may want to step into his shoes.”
Jones’ attorney, Federico Andino Reynal, argued for a far lower sum, suggesting that the jurors should multiply Jones’ purported earnings per hour of $14,000 and the 18 hours that he said Jones talked about Sandy Hook...