Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones said Wednesday he now understands it was irresponsible of him to declare the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre a hoax and now believes it was “100% real”, a 6 Boy killed in attack a day after parents of the year Witnessed about torment, death threats and harassment He has endured because of the trumpet that Jones plays on his media platforms.
“It was … especially since I’ve met the parents. It’s 100% real,” Jones testified at her trial to determine how much she had for defaming the 6-year-old’s parents. Bucks, who was one of 20 students and six teachers killed in a 2012 school attack in Newtown, Connecticut.
But the parents who sued Jones said the day before that an apology would not be enough and the InfoWars host should be held accountable again and again. spreading lies about the attack. They are seeking at least $150 million.
Arguments are expected to begin later on Wednesday after more testimony from Jones, who has portrayed the trial as an attack on his First Amendment rights.
Jones is the only person testifying in defense of himself and his media company, Free Speech Systems. His lawyer asked him if he now understood that it was “absolutely irresponsible” to pursue false claims that the massacre had not occurred 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 “typecast as someone who talks about Sandy Hook, makes money from Sandy Hook, is obsessed with Sandy Hook.”
Jones’ testimony came a day after Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose son Jesse Lewis was killed in the attack, testified that the false claims made by Jones and Jones and their Infowars website made their lives one. The “living hell” of death threatsOnline abuse and harassment.
He led a day of implicated testimony on Tuesday, which included scolding Bombshell Jones for not being truthful with some of what the judge had said under oath.
In an amusing exchange, Lewis spoke directly to Jones, who sat about 10 feet away. Earlier that day, Jones was telling his audience on his broadcast show that Heslin is “slow” and being molested by bad guys.
Lewis told Jones, “I am first and foremost a mother and I know you are a father. My son existed.” “I’m not in a deep state… I know you know it… 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, before the judge advised him to remain silent until called to testify.
Heslin and Lewis are among several Sandy Hook families that have filed multiple lawsuits alleging that Sandy Hook claims pushed by Jones have led to abuses over the years by them and their followers.
Heslin and Lewis both said they fear for their lives and encounter strangers at home and on the street. Heslein said his house and car had been shot. The jury heard death threats sent via telephone message to another Sandy Hook family.
“I can’t even describe the last nine-and-a-half years, the living hell that I and others have suffered because of Alex Jones’ carelessness and recklessness,” Heslin said.
Scarlett Lewis also described threatening emails that exposed the darker details of her personal life.
“It’s fear for your life,” said Scarlett Lewis. “You didn’t know what they were going to do.”
Heslin said he did not know that the Sandy Hook Hoax conspiracy theory originated with Jones, but it was Jones who “lit the match and started the fire” with an online platform and broadcast that reached millions of people worldwide. .
“What was said about me and Sandy Hook resonates all over the world,” Heslin said. “As time went on, I really realized how dangerous it was.”
Jones skipped Heslin’s testimony on Tuesday morning while he was on his show—a move that Heslin dismissed as “cowardly”—but arrived in the courtroom for 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… to face Alex Jones what he said and did to me. To restore my son’s honor and legacy,” Heslin said when Jones was not there.
Heslin told the jury about holding his son with a bullet hole through his head, even describing how much damage his son’s body had suffered. A key section of the case is a 2017 Infowars broadcast stating that Heslin did not catch his son.
The jury was shown a school photograph of a smiling Jesse, taken two weeks before she was killed. The parents didn’t get the photo until after the shooting. He described how Jesse was known to tell classmates to “run away”. Which might have saved his life.
The parents said Jones’ apology would not be good enough.
“Alex starts this fight,” Heslin said, “and I’ll end this fight.”
In 2017, Heslin went on television, telling CBS News, To address the Sandy Hook deniers directly, “I lost my son. I buried my son. I grabbed my son with a bullet hole through his head,” he said.
After which, the harassment only got worse, Heslin said.
“I have received death threats several times,” Heslin told CBS News in 2018, “People say, ‘You must be the one who has the bullet hole in his head.'”
Jones later took the stand and was initially belligerent with the judge, who asked him to answer his lawyer’s question. Jones testified that he had long wanted to apologize to the plaintiff.
Later, the judge sent the jury out of the room and reprimanded Jones for telling the jury that he had complied with the pre-trial evidence collection, even though he did not and was insolvent, having not been determined. has been done. Plaintiffs’ attorneys were outraged by Jones’ mention of bankruptcy, which they worry would tarnish the jury’s decisions about damages.
“This is not your show,” judge Maya Guerra Gamble told Jones. “Your beliefs do not make anything true. You are under oath.”
Last September, the judge warned Jones in his default judgment over his failure to turn over the documents requested by the Sandy Hook families. A Connecticut court issued a similar default judgment against Jones for similar reasons in a separate lawsuit brought by the other Sandy Hook parent.
At stake in the lawsuit is how much Jones will pay. The parents have asked the jury to award $150 million in compensation for defamation and intentional emotional distress. The jury will then consider whether Jones and his company will pay punitive damages.
Jones has already tried to keep the free speech system financially secure. company filed for federal bankruptcy protection Last week. The Sandy Hook families have separately sued Jones’ financial claims, arguing that the company is trying to protect the millions owned by Jones and his family through shell entities.