The Sandy Hook shooting was one of the darkest moments in our recent history. In 2012, a mass shooting happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 20 children and six school employees.

Making things even worse was Alex Jones, who owns the far-right conspiracy website, Infowars. Jones was one of many people pushing conspiracies about the mass shooting, saying it was an attack by the United States government. It didn’t stop then. Nearly two years after the tragedy, Jones added to that conspiracy theory, claiming the children were all “crisis actors.”

After years of defaming the victims’ families, Neil Heslin sued Jones for defamation. Heslin is the father of a six-year-old boy who was killed in the massacre. Heslin is not the only parent who has sued Jones. In another one of his conspiracy theories, Jones accused Sandy Hook father Leonard Pozner of being a crisis actor. The conspiracy theory affected Pozner so badly that he had to move multiple times over threats from Alex Jones fans.

On Dec. 20, a Texas judge ordered Jones to pay $100,000 in legal fees, saying Jones and his lawyer failed to produce witnesses to the plaintiff and that they should be treated as contempt of court.

“Mr. Jones is learning that he cannot treat the courts with the same contempt he showed my clients,” Mark Bankston, who is Heslin’s lawyer, said in an email. “In disobeying court orders, Mr. Jones has shown how desperate he is to ensure nobody finds out how Infowars really operates, or the lengths the company went to carry out its five-year campaign of malicious harassment against these parents.”

Naturally, people were glad Jones got what he deserved.

Some pointed out, however, the amount awarded to the family doesn’t compare to the damage he caused.

And while no amount of money will quell the pain these families face every day, it’s good to see a person face consequences for their actions.

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*First Published: January 1, 2020, 8:54 am