free counter
Science And Nature

A reckoning for truth: Alex Jones revokes conspiracy theory in trial

Austin, Texas

For a long time, bombastic far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones ranted to his an incredible number of followers that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax, that children werent killed, and that parents were crisis actors within an elaborate ruse to force gun control.

Under oath and facing a jury which could hit him with $150 million or even more in damages for his false claims, Mr. Jones said Wednesday he now realizes that has been irresponsible and believes that what happened in the deadliest school shooting in American history was 100% real.

Mr. Jones public contrition came on the ultimate day of testimony in a two-week defamation lawsuit against him and his Austin-based media company, Free Speech Systems, brought by Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis. Their son was an initial grader who was simply on the list of 20 students and six teachers killed at the institution in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012.

I unintentionally took part in items that did hurt these peoples feelings, said Mr. Jones, who also acknowledged raising conspiracy claims about other mass tragedies, from the Oklahoma City and Boston Marathon bombings to the mass shootings in NEVADA and Parkland, Florida, and Im sorry for that.

But an apology isnt enough for Mr. Heslin and Ms. Lewis. They said Mr. Jones and the media empire he controls and used to spread his false assertions should be held accountable.

Alex started this fight, Mr. Heslin said, and Ill finish this fight.

The parents testified Tuesday in regards to a decade of trauma, inflicted first by the murder of these son and what followed: gun shots fired at a house, online and telephone threats, and harassment on the road by strangers, all fueled by Mr. Jones and his conspiracy theory spread to his followers via his website Infowars.

A forensic psychiatrist testified the parents have problems with complex post-traumatic stress disorder inflicted by ongoing trauma, much like what may be experienced by way of a soldier at war or perhaps a child abuse victim.

At one point in her testimony, Ms. Lewis looked directly at Mr. Jones, who was simply sitting barely 10 feet away.

It appears so incredible if you ask me that people have to get this done that we need to implore you, to punish you to make you stop lying, Ms. Lewis told Mr. Jones.

Courts in Texas and Connecticut have previously found Mr. Jones responsible for defamation for his portrayal of the Sandy Hook massacre as a hoax involving actors targeted at increasing gun control.

Now, Mr. Heslin and Ms. Lewis are asking the jury in Austin for $150 million in compensation for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. They’ll also ask the jury to assess additional punitive damages.

Jurors began considering damages Wednesday. After they determine whether Mr. Jones should pay the parents compensation for defamation and emotional distress, it must then decide if he must pay punitive damages. That portion calls for another mini-trial with Mr. Jones and economists testifying to his and his companys net worth.

Mr. Jones attorney asked the jury to limit damages to $8 one dollar for every of the compensation charges they’re considering and Mr. Jones himself said any award over $2 million would sink us.

By the end of Mr. Jones testimony, Mark Bankston, a lawyer for the household, pulled a crumpled dollar bill out of his pocket, showed it to Mr. Jones, and put it down while watching parents.

Your day Sandy Hook happened, Alex Jones planted a seed of misinformation that lasted ten years, parents attorney Kyle Farrar told the jury to summarize arguments. And he just watered that seed again and again until it bore fruit: cruelty and money.

During his testimony, Mr. Jones said hes tried previously to cool off the hoax claims, however they [the media] wont i want to go on it back.

Mr. Jones who has been banned from major social media marketing platforms for hate speech and abusive behavior has portrayed the lawsuit being an attack on his First Amendment rights and complained that hes been typecast as someone that runs around discussing Sandy Hook, makes money off Sandy Hook, is obsessed by Sandy Hook.

Eight days of testimony included videos of Mr. Jones and Infowars employees discussing the Sandy Hook conspiracy and also mocking Mr. Heslins description in a 2017 television interview that hed held his dead son Jesses body with a bullet hole through his head. Mr. Heslin described that moment along with his dead son to the jury.

Mr. Jones was the only real witness to testify in his defense. And he came under withering attack from the plaintiffs attorneys under cross examination, because they reviewed Mr. Jones own video claims about Sandy Hook through the years, and accused him of lying and attempting to hide evidence, including texts and emails about Sandy Hook. In addition, it included internal emails sent by an Infowars employee having said that this Sandy Hook stuff is killing us.

At one point, Mr. Jones was told that his attorneys had mistakenly sent Mr. Bankston the final 2 yrs worth of texts from Mr. Jones cellphone.

And soon after Mr. Jones declared I dont use email, Mr. Jones was shown one which originated from his address, and a different one from an Infowars business officer telling Mr. Jones that the business had earned $800,000 gross in selling its products within a day, which may total nearly $300 million in per year.

Mr. Jones has recently tried to safeguard Free Speech Systems financially. The business filed for federal bankruptcy protection the other day. Sandy Hook families have separately sued Mr. Jones over his financial claims, arguing that the business is trying to safeguard millions owned by Mr. Jones and his family through shell entities.

Through the trial, judge Maya Guerra Gamble sent the jury from the room and strongly scolded Jones for telling the jury he complied with pretrial evidence gathering despite the fact that he didnt, and he is bankrupt, which includes not been determined. Plaintiffs attorneys were furious about Jones mentioning he could be bankrupt, that they worry will taint a jury decision about damages.

This is simply not your show, Ms. Gamble told Mr. Jones. Your beliefs usually do not make something true. You’re under oath.

This story was reported by The Associated Press. AP writer Paul J. Weber contributed to the report.

Read More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker