Speaking a day after the parents of a six-year-old boy who was killed in the 2012 attack testified about the suffering, death threats and harassment they have endured because of what Jones has trumpeted on his media platforms, the Infowars host told a Texas courtroom that he definitely thinks the attack happened.
“Especially since I’ve met the parents. It’s 100% real,” Jones said at his trial to determine how much he and his media company, Free Speech Systems, owe for defaming Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis.
Their son Jesse Lewis was among the 20 students and six educators who were killed in the attack in Newtown, Connecticut, which was the deadliest school shooting in American history.
But Mr Heslin and Ms Lewis said that an apology would not suffice and that Jones needed to be held accountable for repeatedly spreading falsehoods about the attack. They are seeking at least 150 million dollars.
The legal team representing Infowars founder Alex Jones inadvertently sent the contents of his cellphone to a lawyer representing the parents of a child killed in the Sandy Hook mass shooting, the parents’ lawyer said in court Wednesday.
The apparent blunder, revealed by attorney Mark Bankston as Jones was on the stand in the damages phase of his defamation trial, unearthed previously undisclosed texts about the massacre and financial information about Infowars.
Bankston, who represents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, told the far-right purveyor of conspiracy theories that his attorneys had “messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cellphone.”
“And that is how I know you lied to me when you said you didn’t have text messages about Sandy Hook,” Bankston said.
Closing arguments are expected to begin later on Wednesday after more testimony from Jones, who has portrayed the lawsuit as an attack on his First Amendment rights.
Jones is the only person testifying in his own defence. His lawyer asked him if he now understands it was “absolutely irresponsible” to push the false claims that the massacre did not happen and no-one died.
Jones said he does, but added: “They (the media) won’t let me take it back.”
He also complained that he has been “typecast as someone that runs around talking about Sandy Hook, makes money off Sandy Hook, is obsessed by Sandy Hook”.
Jones’ testimony came a day after Mr Heslin and Ms Lewis told the courtroom in Austin, where Jones and his companies are based, that Jones and the false hoax claims he and Infowars pushed made their lives a “living hell” of death threats, online abuse and harassment.
They led a day of charged testimony on Tuesday that included the judge scolding the bombastic Mr Jones for not being truthful with some of what he said under oath.