The parents of a Sandy Hook victim faced Alex Jones from the witness stand and told him firsthand about the torment he has caused them Tuesday during the penalty phase of the Austin, Texas, defamation trial against the conspiracy theorist.
The InfoWars host was previously found liable in the first of three defamation lawsuits filed against him by the parents of Sandy Hook victims. Lawyers for Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, whose six-year-old son Jesse was killed in the 2012 mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, are seeking $150 million in damages from Jones.
Both Heslin and Lewis took the stand Tuesday, and while Jones was not in court for Heslin’s testimony — the host was instead live-streaming his own commentary about Heslin’s testimony from a nearby studio — Jones was in the courthouse for a portion of Lewis’ testimony. She spoke to him directly and chastised him for his comments on the Sandy Hook shooting, which he initially called a “false flag” operation.
“You know that’s not true,” Lewis said to Jones, according to the New York Times. “When you say those things, there’s a fringe of society that believe you that are actually dangerous.”
“Jesse was real,” Lewis added, a reference to Jones’ claim that the students killed in the shooting were “crisis actors.” “I’m a real mom.”
Lewis also testified that, because of Jones, she has lived in fear in the decade following the shooting, as she has been harassed and even received death threats from Jones’ InfoWars listeners, CNN reports. “The fear and anxiety and unsafeness … keeps me from healing,” Lewis said. “It definitely negatively impacts the healing process.”
Heslin also testified, “My life has been threatened. I fear for my life. I fear for my safety and my family’s safety and their life.”
While Jones has backed away from his Sandy Hook “false flag” stance, “there has not been a sincere apology,” Lewis said. “But if there was, ever, I liken it to being in a car accident and you run over someone and cause tremendous bodily damage and you look at that person lying on the ground and say, ‘I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m not accountable for any of the damage I just caused. But I’m sorry.’ That’s how I see it.”
A jury will ultimately decide the monetary damages against Jones, who has claimed he is “bankrupt,” despite InfoWars making approximately $50 million a year in sales of dietary supplements, doomsday preparedness kits, and the ilk; InfoWars’ parent company Free Speech Systems filed for bankruptcy protection in April.
When Jones attempted to tell the jury he was bankrupt Tuesday during his own testimony, he was admonished by Judge Maya Guerra Gamble for lying under oath.
“You believe everything you say is true, but your beliefs do not make something true,” Gamble said. “That is that is what we’re doing here. Just because you claim to think something is true does not make it true. It does not protect you. It is not allowed. You’re under oath. That means things must actually be true when you say them.”
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