Alex Jones Trial: Alex Jones Says That the Sandy Hook Shooting Was “100% True.”


TEXAS CITY, Texas (AP) — For years, Alex Jones, a bombastic far-right conspiracy theorist, told his millions of followers that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax, that no children were killed, and that parents were crisis actors in an elaborate ruse to force gun control.

Under oath and in front of a jury that could fine him $150 million or more for making false claims, Jones said Wednesday that he now realizes that was irresponsible and that what happened in the deadliest school shooting in American history was “100% real.”

Jones’ public apology came on the final day of testimony in a two-week defamation lawsuit brought by Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, against him and his Austin-based media company, Free Speech Systems.

Their first-grader son was one of the 20 students and six teachers killed on December 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

“I unintentionally took part in things that did hurt these people’s feelings,” Jones admitted, adding that he had raised conspiracy theories about other mass tragedies ranging from the Oklahoma City and Boston Marathon bombings to the mass shootings in Las Vegas and Parkland, Florida, “and I’m sorry.”

Alex Jones Trial

Is the Apology From Lewis and Heslin Insufficient?

Lewis and Heslin believe that an apology is insufficient. They contended that Jones and his media empire should be liable for disseminating false information. “Alex initiated this dispute; I’ll finish it,” Heslin declared.

In their testimony on Tuesday, the parents described a ten-year period of trauma that started with the death of their son and continued with street harassment and threats made over the phone and online, all of which were sparked by Jones and the conspiracy theory he preached to his viewers on Infowars.

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According to a forensic psychiatrist, the parents have “complex post-traumatic stress disorder.” Lewis gave Jones one glance during Jones’ testimony. I can’t believe we have to beg and punish you for lying, Jones, Lewis remarked.

Jones has been found guilty of defamation by courts in Texas and Connecticut for fabricating the Sandy Hook massacre to enact stricter gun control laws. Heslin and Lewis are suing for libel and intentionally causing mental anguish. Additionally, they’ll ask for punitive damages.

The debate over damages got underway on Wednesday. Jones must pay punitive damages after determining whether to compensate the parents for defamation and emotional distress. Jones and economists will testify about the net worth of their company and themselves in a second mini-trial.

What Did Jones’ Lawyer Ask for?

Jones’s lawyer requested that the jury set a limit on damages of $8, or $1 for each compensation charge. Jones says a $2 million judgment “would sink us.” Mark Bankston, the family’s attorney, handed Jones a wrinkled $1 bill after Jones finished his testimony and placed it in front of the parents.

The parents’ attorney informed the jury that “Alex Jones seeded a seed of untruth the day Sandy Hook occurred.” He nurtured the seed till it produced malice and wealth. Jones claimed during his testimony that “They (the media) won’t let me take it back.”

Jones contends that the situation infringes on his First Amendment rights and that he has been “typecast as someone who talks about Sandy Hook, makes money off of Sandy Hook, and is obsessed with Sandy Hook.” Jones’s use of aggressive language on social media has resulted in a ban.

Alex Jones Trial

The eight days of testimony featured videos of Jones and Infowars employees discussing the Sandy Hook conspiracy and making fun of Heslin’s assertion that he held his son Jesse’s body “with a bullet hole through his head” in a 2017 TV interview. Heslin discussed his dead son with the jury.

Jones was his lone eyewitness. Plaintiffs’ attorneys charged Jones with lying and hiding evidence, including Sandy Hook texts, emails, and Jones’ films, during cross-examination. According to an email from an Infowars staffer, “Sandy Hook is killing us.”

Jones was informed that Bankston obtained all of his smartphone communications from the previous two years via his solicitors. Jones was given an email written from his account and one from an Infowars businessperson after he responded, “I don’t use email.

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“In both emails, it was reported that the company made $800,000 in sales in a single day or nearly $300 million in a calendar year. Jones has made an effort to safeguard Free Speech Systems’ finances. Last week, the company filed for bankruptcy.

Sandy Hook family members have filed a lawsuit against Jones over his financial disclosures, claiming he is trying to conceal millions in front of companies he and his family own.

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