Conspiracy theoristtestified Wednesday that he now realizes it was irresponsible to call the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre a hoax and that he now believes it was “100% real.”
A day after the 2012 the parents of the 6-year-old boy who died in the attack testified aboutThey endured because of what Jones trumpeted on his media platforms, the Infowars host said in a Texas courtroom that he truly believes the attack happened.
“Especially since I met the parents. It’s 100% true,” Jones said during a trial to determine how much he and his media company Free Speech Systems owe for defamation by Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis. Their son, Jesse Lewis, was among 20 students and six teachers killed in the attack in Newtown, Connecticut, the deadliest school shooting in American history.
But Heslin and Lewis said Tuesday that an apology would not be enough and that Jones must be held accountable for his continued lies about the attack. They reach at least 150 million.
Testimony in the trial, now in its second week, concluded around noon on Wednesday.
During closing arguments Wednesday afternoon, Jones’ attorney, Andino Reynal, said the plaintiffs had failed to prove his client’s actions and words caused actual harm to Heslin and Lewis. He said it’s fair to conclude that someone else “weaponized” what Jones said about Sandy Hook and “convinced them that Alex Jones was responsible for their grief.”
Jones was the only person to testify in his own defense. His lawyer asked if he now understood that it was “completely irresponsible” to make false claims that the massacre had not taken place and that no one had died.
Jones said he does, but added, “They (the media) won’t let me take it back.”
He also complained that he was being “reported as someone who runs around talking about Sandy Hook, makes money from Sandy Hook, is obsessed with Sandy Hook.”
Under questioning from attorney Mark Bankston, Jones acknowledged that he has brought conspiracy charges for other mass tragedies, from the Oklahoma City and Boston Marathon bombings to the mass shootings in Las Vegas and Parkland, Florida.
Bankston then touted Jones’ credibility by showing an Infowars video clip from last week in which the host, not Jones, claimed the trial was rigged and featured a picture of a flaming judge. Then came another clip of Jones asking if the jury was drawn from a group of people who “don’t know what planet” they live on. Jones said he didn’t have that part literally.
Bankston said Jones failed to comply with court orders to send text messages and emails. letters to collect pre-trial evidence. Jones said: “I don’t use email. mail’, then one from another source, received from his email, was shown. postal address. He replied, “I must have dictated it.”
At one point, Bankston told Jones that his attorneys had mistakenly sent Bankston the past two years of text messages from Jones’ cell phone.
The lawyer also showed the court an e-mail. a letter from an Infowars business officer informing Jones that the company had made $800,000 in one day’s sales of its products, which would amount to nearly $300 million a year. Jones said it was the company’s best day in sales.
Jones testified the day after Heslin and Lewis said in a courtroom in Austin, where Jones and his companies are based, that Jones and the false claims of fraud pushed by him and Infowars made their livesonline abuse and harassment.
They had a day of testimony for the accused on Tuesday, during which the judge reprimanded the impressive Jones for not answering what he said under oath.
In a fascinating conversation, Lewis spoke directly to Jones, who was sitting about 10 feet away. Earlier in the day, Jones told his audience on his broadcast that Heslin is “slow” and being manipulated by bad people.
“I am a mother first and foremost and I know you are a father. My son existed,” Lewis told Jones. “I’m not in a deep state… I know you know that… And yet you’re going to leave this courthouse and say it again on your show.”
At one point, Lewis asked Jones, “Do you think I’m an actor?”
“No, I don’t think you’re an actor,” Jones replied after the judge warned him to remain silent until he was called to testify.
Heslin and Lewis are among several Sandy Hook families who have filed lawsuits, alleging that claims of the Sandy Hook hoax pushed by Jones led to years of abuse by him and his followers.
“What has been said about me and Sandy Hook itself is echoing around the world,” Heslin said. “As time went on, I really realized how dangerous it was.
Jones skipped Heslin’s testimony on Tuesday morning when he was on his own show, a move Heslin dismissed as “cowardly,” but did attend the courtroom to hear part of Scarlett Lewis’ testimony. He was accompanied by several private security guards.
“Today is very important to me and it’s been a long time coming … to confront Alex Jones for what he said and did to me. To restore my son’s honor and legacy,” Heslin said in Jones’ absence.
Heslin told jurors he held his son with a bullet hole in his head, even as he described the extent of his son’s injuries. The main part of the case is 2017. Infowars broadcast that Heslin did not hold his son.
in 2017 Heslin got into television, he told CBS News, address the Sandy Hook deniers directly. “I lost my son. I buried my son. I held my son with a bullet hole in his head,” he said.
After that, the harassment only got worse, Heslin said.
“I got a lot of death threats,”. “People say, ‘You should be the one with the bullet hole in the head.’
The jury was shown a school photo of a smiling Jesse taken two weeks before he was killed. The parents did not receive the photo until after the shooting. They described how Jesse was known for telling his classmates to “run!” which most likely saved lives.
Jones later took the stand Tuesday and initially struggled with the judge, who asked him to answer a question from his own attorney. Jones testified that he had long wanted to apologize to the plaintiffs.
The judge later sent the jury out of the courtroom and reprimanded Jones for telling the jury that he had complied with pre-trial evidence collection when he had not, and that he was bankrupt, which has not been established. Plaintiffs’ attorneys were furious that Jones had mentioned he was bankrupt, which they said would taint the jury’s decision on damages.
“This is not your show,” judge Maya Guerra told Gamble Jones. “Your beliefs don’t make something real. You’re sworn.”
Last September, a judge gave Jones a restraining order after he failed to turn over documents requested by the Sandy Hook family. A Connecticut court entered a similar default judgment against Jones on the same grounds in a separate lawsuit brought by other Sandy Hook parents.
At stake in the trial is how much Jones will pay. The parents asked the jury to award them $150 million in damages for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. A jury will then consider whether Jones and his company will pay punitive damages.
Jones told the jury that any compensation in excess of $2 million USD, “is going to sink us,” but added, “I think it’s fine with whatever you decide you want to do.”
Jones has already tried to financially protect Free Speech Systems. The company filed for federal bankruptcy protection last week. The Sandy Hook families have separately sued Jones over their financial claims, claiming the company is trying to protect millions owed to Jones and his family through shell entities.