HARTFORD, Oct 11 — A Connecticut jury resumed deliberations today in a trial to determine how much conspiracy theorist Alex Jones must pay families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting for falsely claiming that the massacre was a hoax.

Closing arguments concluded on Thursday in Waterbury, Connecticut, not far from where a gunman killed 20 small children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. Jurors deliberated all day on Friday but did not meet on Monday due to the federal holiday.

Jones claimed for years that the massacre was staged by the government as part of a plot to take away Americans’ guns.

In August, another jury found Jones and his company must pay US$49.3 million (RM230.4 million) to Sandy Hook parents in a similar case in Austin, Texas, where his Infowars website is based. Lawyers for the families of eight Sandy Hook victims in the Connecticut case said Jones and his company, Free Speech Systems LLC, cashed in for years on lies about the shooting, which drove traffic to Infowars and sales of products there.

The trial was marked by weeks of anguished testimony from the families, who filled the gallery each day and took turns recounting how Jones’ lies about Sandy Hook compounded their grief. An FBI agent who responded to the shooting is also a plaintiff in the case.

Jones, who has since acknowledged that the shooting occurred, also testified and briefly threw the trial into chaos as he railed against his “liberal” critics and refused to apologise to the families. — Reuters