MADISON, Wis. – A Wisconsin jury Tuesday night awarded $450,000 to the father of a boy who was killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting after he sued a man who wrote a book claiming the event never took place.
Leonard Pozner's 6-year-old son Noah was killed in the 2012 shooting. He sued James Fetzer, author of "Nobody Died at Sandy Hook," for defamation in November 2018.
Fetzer claimed in his book that the Sandy Hook shooting never took place. He argued that the event was staged by the federal government under the Obama administration in order to enact tighter gun restrictions.
The jury spent nearly four hours determining the amount Fetzer would pay Pozner, reports the Wisconsin State Journal. A judge ruled in June that Fetzer defamed Pozner with four false statements about his son's death certificate.
Pozner testified that he has been harassed and threatened by people who believe the shooting didn't happen. He said Fetzer's writing caused him to worry about his family's safety.
"Mr. Fetzer has the right to believe that Sandy Hook never happened," Pozner said, according to the Journal. "He has the right to express his ignorance. This award, however, further illustrates the difference between the right of people like Mr. Fetzer to be wrong and the right of victims like myself and my child to be free from defamation, free from harassment and free from the intentional infliction of terror."
Fetzer called the damages amount "absurd" and said he would appeal.