In their two-week defamation trial testimony on Tuesday, the parents of a Sandy Hook shooting victim demanded that Texas-based conspiracy theorist Alex Jones be held accountable for his defamatory remarks regarding the tragedy.
Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis who died in the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut, tragedy, are suing Jones for $150 million for slander.
Jones began testifying late on Tuesday afternoon and will go on early on Wednesday.
Heslin stated during his statement on Tuesday that in order to move on with his life and attempt to heal from the trauma of the event, Jones must be held accountable.
Heslin testified in court that losing a kid is something from which you can never fully recover. “You lose a piece of yourself when you lose a child. The death of your child has left you feeling violated. It’s something from which you cannot recover.
Lewis addressed Jones in her testimony: “There was a Jesse. I am a true mother.”
The trial is the first of three to decide on monetary sanctions for the emotional anguish and defamation Jones caused with false information about the Sandy Hook massacre, in which 20 children and six teachers perished. On Infowars, his Austin-based website and programme, Jones frequently asserted that the shooting was a staged government plot to take away Americans’ firearms.
In October, a judge in Austin issued a default judgement against Jones for libel after he claimed that the school shooting was a fabrication, which caused Jones’ listeners to annoy the relatives of the victims. All of the defamation lawsuits brought by 10 families of Sandy Hook victims in the last year were unsuccessful for Jones.
When Jones took the witness stand, his lawyer F. Andino Reynal enquired as to his health. Jones retorted, “I feel really wonderful,” He expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to correct any misconceptions the corporate media may have about his remarks regarding the Sandy Hook shooting.
Tuesday’s line of questioning by Reynal was particularly concerned with Jones’ background, his entry into the media, his business, Infowars, and how much time he spends working.
Heslin stated that he hopes the verdict of this action would restore his son’s legacy as well as his own credibility and image, both of which Jones has ruined.
Parents on Alex Jones
The son’s parents have previously referred to him as a hero. He fled into the school hallway after hearing shots during the Sandy Hook shooting, according to the family’s obituary on legacy.com. Nine kids were able to get out of the classroom they were hiding in after Jesse challenged the shooter and shouted for more kids to run.
Jones was only in the courtroom for a little amount of Lewis’ testimony and was not present during Heslin’s. Heslin referred to Jones’ absence as “cowardly” and “disrespectful.” Jones went on Infowars during or shortly after Heslin’s testimony and discussed the plaintiff there, using what one of Heslin’s attorneys called “inflammatory” language. Jones claimed that Heslin is “a decent man” who has been “manipulated by some very nasty individuals” in a clip from the show that was played during the trial on Tuesday. He claimed that although Heslin is “slow,” he does not think Heslin is “dumb.”
Lewis expressed her gratitude for being able to speak to Jones face-to-face throughout some of her evidence. It was a comfort to be able to testify, she said, adding that practically every day of her life since the death of her son had been badly impacted.
Lewis emphasised throughout her testimony that she thinks Jones is aware that Sandy Hook was a true, unstaged tragedy. She claimed that despite this, he is determined to keep lying on his show in order to make money.
Although I am aware that there are frauds out there, this experience is absolutely real. Lewis stated, “I experienced it.
She declared that until Jones is held accountable and given a punishment that will teach him a lesson, she doesn’t think he will stop spreading false information.
Lewis equated losing her son to the “phantom sensations” people feel upon losing a limb during her testimony. Despite his passing, she continues to feel the sadness of his passing every day.
According to Lewis, the anguish has been made worse by the lies told about the tragedy by Jones and his group. Because of Jones’ lies, Lewis and Heslin have both received numerous accusing emails and death threats. Lewis claimed that despite living in the same house since Jesse’s passing, she feels insecure there.
According to their attorney Mark Bankston, Heslin and Lewis were isolated and under the protection of a larger security detail on Monday.
Unfortunately, following some encounters—which did not take place in the courts, but rather here in the city of Austin—my clients are currently in isolation and are being guarded by a sizable security team, according to Bankston.