Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’s lies have tarnished the memory of one family’s son and tormented them for years, according to the parents of a Sandy Hook massacre victim who gave emotional testimony to a Texas jury on Tuesday.
Jones’ parents, Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, who won a default judgment against him earlier this year, will seek damages against Jones, which will be decided by the jury hearing the case. Heslin and Lewis were represented by an attorney who requested the jury to award them $150 million last week.
Heslin told the jury that Infowars had “tarnished the honor and memory” of his son by promoting conspiracy theories. It has been “the last nine-and-a-half years of torment” for Heslin, who couldn’t “even begin to describe.”
His testimony was intended “to restore my integrity, my reputation, and Jesse’s legacy that he so much deserves,” Heslin said. Heslin also said he was trying to prevent him from “peddling this garbage.”
A television in the courtroom showed a picture of Heslin’s six-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, as he testified. While Heslin and Lewis were testifying, Jones, who is set to appear in his own defense on Tuesday, was absent from the courtroom. Heslin referred to it as a “cowardly deed” when he was absent.
In his final evidence, Heslin lamented, “Mr. Alex Jones did not have the nerve to sit in front of me or confront me,” despite the fact that he had been here for a week and a half.
CNN spoke to an attorney for Heslin and Lewis, who said the two have had to remain in a secure location while the trial is underway.
Jones’s lies “resonate around the world,” according to Heslin, and he has come to recognize “how dangerous” they are.
Jones supporters have confronted Heslin on a regular basis over the past decade, he said. “Right up to this day,” he said.
She said, “My life is in danger,” Heslin added. “My life is in jeopardy. I am afraid for mine and my family’s lives.”
‘Jesse was real.’ ‘I’m a real mother.’
Lewis had a chance encounter with Jones, who had returned to the courtroom after the trial had been adjourned for lunch. She stated that she wished to speak directly to Jones and that she wanted to do so in person.
As Lewis explained to Jones, “Jesse was a real person. A real mother says, “I’m here for you.”
Lewis informed Jones that she believes he didn’t believe the Sandy Hook lies he spread.
Lewis told Jones, “That’s the problem, I know you know that.” “But you keep saying it, don’t you? Why? Why? Is it for money?”
That “unbearable sorrow” of having a 6-year-old son shot in the forehead while at school was described by Lewis as “unimaginable.”
To have someone on top of that promote the myth that it was a hoax, that it didn’t happen, that it was a false flag, and that I was an actor — You think I’m an actress??” he said. Lewis was perplexed at the time.
It was Lewis’ belief that monetary damages were appropriate in the case since she believes Jones will never stop.
She claimed that a “sincere apology” had not been offered. “The only time I can think of is when you’re in an accident and you run over someone, injuring them severely, and you say, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m not responsible for what I just caused.” ‘However, I’m sorry for the inconvenience.’ What I see is this:”
“I don’t believe that Jones is aware of the consequences of appearing on broadcast with a large audience and lying and labeling this a hoax.”
‘It’s just unbelievable that we have to do this,’ Lewis said to Jones. “The fact that we have to beg you — and not just beg you — to stop lying… What’s going on in here is completely bizarre and out of this world.”
Also in court, Lewis claimed that she has been harassed and threatened, including at her own house, all of which she said reopens the wounds of her son’s murder.
Fear, anxiety, and a feeling of insecurity are keeping Lewis from recovering, he added. When it comes to healing, it’s a big no-no.
Lewis characterized the Sandy Hook conspiracy claims as “very unnerving.”
“I’m concerned about my own safety,” Lewis remarked, reflecting her own thoughts on the matter.
Parents Heslin and Lewis are afraid and concerned for their safety, forensic psychiatrist Roy Lubit stated to the court on Monday, after conducting an evaluation of them.
Lewis and Heslin “are very, very terrified,” Lubit told the court. When asked who they were afraid of, Lubit said, “Some follower of Jones attempting to kill us.”
Lewis has a revolver, a knife, and pepper spray on her nightstand, according to Lubit. On warmer days, Lubit says she won’t switch on the air conditioner for fear she won’t be able to hear an intruder.
After failing to keep one of her children safe, Lewis said Tuesday that she owned a pistol to protect her other child.
‘It’s not your program,’ he said.’
When Jones entered the stand on Thursday afternoon to defend himself against the plaintiffs and news media, he said he felt “okay” about it.
While on the witness stand, Jones assured Heslin and Lewis that he had “never intended to damage you.”
“The internet had a lot of questions” about the Sandy Hook shooting, and so did Jones. On the other side of the argument, Jones said he had just “tried to find out what happened.”
Attorney Mark Bankston accused Jones and his lawyer Federico Andino Reynal of trying to “contaminate” the trial after the jury had left the courtroom following Jones’ testimony. A motion for sanctions against Jones and Reynal will be filed, according to Bankston.
According to Bankston, Jones violated court restrictions by discussing his net worth on the witness stand.
By purposefully doing so in breach of your order, Mr. Jones hoped the jury would believe that he was broke when in fact he wasn’t, Bankston told the judge in his opening statement. “That is in violation of your order,” he continued.
After the completion of the trial, Judge Maya Guerra Gamble stated that she would hear any official motions for punishment against Jones and Reynal.
Gamble, on the other hand, chastised Jones for his conduct and asserted that he had already broken his oath of candor twice.
“Do not claim compliance with discovery to this jury, Mr. Jones. That’s not the case. It’s not allowed to be said again. It is against the law for you to tell this jury that you are bankrupt. That’s also false, however “Gamble was quoted as saying.
As Gamble pointed out, “You are already under oath to tell the truth. “Just in those two instances, you’ve already broken your promise. It seems pointless to remind you that you are under oath to say the truth at this point in your testimony. Here I am, yet again.”
This is not Gamble’s show,” he said.
When Jones tried to explain his story to Gamble, he said he was telling the truth.
When you declare something is true, it’s not because of your beliefs that it is true. “That’s what we’re up to here, after all. You can’t just say you believe something is true because you believe it to be true. As such, it offers no defense. It’s against the rules. You are sworn to secrecy. This implies that whatever you say must be true.”
Lewis gave Jones a bottle of water at the end of the court proceedings since Jones had complained about having difficulty speaking owing to a torn larynx.
Jones got into a violent argument with Heslin after he began conversing with Lewis and Heslin.
Interjecting as Jones was escorting Heslin and Lewis from the courtroom, an attorney representing the latter two said to Jones: “That’s not even on my mind. This isn’t going to proceed that way.”
Why is it that you can no longer give them bogus videos??” Jones screamed back.
It’s not the first time Jones has attacked the legal proceedings taking place in Texas. He recently claimed that he was being tried in a “kangaroo court” in the state, which is completely false. Infowars has also published content in which they viciously attack the judges who are overseeing the cases.
Infowars owner Alex Jones has filed for bankruptcy protection for his media company, Free Speech Systems.
It began Tuesday in Connecticut, where Jones was acquitted earlier this year of any wrongdoing in relation to the Sandy Hook shootings. After Jones’ attorneys filed motions in federal court to temporarily remove the case because of Free Speech Systems’ bankruptcy filing, jury selection was halted.
Jones has been accused by several Sandy Hook families’ attorneys of draining Free Speech Systems’ funds in recent years in an effort to insulate himself from possible judgments he may be compelled to pay in the future.
Avi Moshenberg, one of the attorneys, told CNN on Tuesday that Free Speech Systems’ bankruptcy declaration suggested that the corporation had withdrew $62 million in assets in 2021 and 2022.
Alex Jones, the only owner [of Free Speech Systems], collected $62 million in draws in 2021 and 2022, according to the bankruptcy petition, according to Moshenberg, who spoke to CNN. “Straight-forward doodles. As a result, there are little assets in the company.”
In the early hours of Tuesday, a lawyer for Jones did not immediately reply to a call for comment. W. Marc Schwartz, Free Speech Systems’ chief restructuring officer, is slated to appear at a hearing on Wednesday.