Parents of 6-year-old Sandy Hook victim say Alex Jones has made life a ‘living hell’

Speaking often directly with InfoWars host Alex Jones, the mother of a 6-year-old boy who died in the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, testified Tuesday that the right-wing conspiracy theory lies that the attack was a hoax that has left her in fear for her life and has compounded her pain.

“A 6-year-old being shot in front of his classroom is unbearable and you don’t think you’re going to survive and then someone on top of that perpetuates a lie that it was a hoax, that it was a false flag,” Scarlett said. Lewis during his testimony. “I don’t think you understand the fear that you perpetuate, not only to the victim’s family, but to our family, our friends, and any survivors of that school.”

Jesse Lewis, along with 19 of his fellow first graders and six educators, was killed after a gunman entered his school in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012.

Lewis and Jesse’s father, Neil Heslin, is among several Sandy Hook families who have filed lawsuits against Jones arguing that his claims that the attack was a hoax have led to years of abuse from his supporters. The parents, who testified Tuesday, have asked Jones to pay $150 million for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Image: Neil Heslin
Neil Heslin, father of 6-year-old Sandy Hook shooting victim Jesse Lewis, is emotional during his testimony during the trial of Alex Jones, at the Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas, on August 2, 2022.Briana Sanchez/Pool/Austin American-Statesman via AP

“The ripple effect is huge because of the platform you have. And the fear that comes from that stops the healing and the grieving process,” Lewis told Jones during his testimony.

Lewis testified that he received death threats and that his family and friends have also been harassed by Jones’s supporters.

Lewis described an incident in which a person walked into her driveway in Connecticut one Christmas morning and began taking pictures of her and her house. She said that she has not felt safe and has had to have a gun in her home for the sake of her surviving child.

“I am a single mother and responsible for the safety of my two sons and I couldn’t keep one safe so I am going to keep my surviving son safe,” Lewis said in emotional testimony.

Jones, who described the lawsuit as an attack on his First Amendment rights, also took the stand Tuesday, telling Lewis and Heslin he “never intentionally intended to hurt them.”

Later in his testimony, however, he said that his views on Sandy Hook stemmed from signs he saw that it was a “synthetic” event, manipulated by outside forces.

Image: Alex Jones
Alex Jones testifies in court at the Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas on August 2, 2022.KXAN

He also blamed the “corporate media” multiple times during his testimony, saying they lie and misrepresent the truth, leading him to question everything reported.

Heslin, Jesse’s father, told the jury that the pain of losing his son was compounded by Jones’ claim that he never existed.

“It is very important to me to have this trial and testimony today to hold Alex Jones accountable,” he said. Statements from both Infowars and Alex Jones have repeatedly clouded Jesse.”

The crux of the trial is a 2017 episode of “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly,” in which Heslin appeared and challenged Jones’s denial of the shooting. Heslin says in the episode, “I held my son with a bullet hole in his head.”

Jones and another Infowars host, Owen Shroyer, later implied that Heslin had lied.

“I can’t even describe the last nine and a half years of living through the hell that I and others have had to endure due to the negligence and recklessness of Alex Jones.”

Judges in Texas and Connecticut have already issued default judgments against Jones, finding him liable for defamation for furthering the Sandy Hook hoax claim. Jones’s trial did not proceed because he did not respond to court orders or produce documents.

This trial began last week and is taking place in Austin, where Jones’s Infowars website and its parent company are located.

“My goal is to hold Alex Jones accountable and to be able to walk out of this courtroom very soon with all of this behind me and get on with my life.”

Jones was absent from court during Heslin’s testimony, as he livestreamed his show and mocked Heslin as “slow” and “on the spectrum.” He said the father was “being manipulated by some very bad people.”

Lawyers for Lewis and Heslin admitted into evidence a recording of Jones’ comments on Tuesday morning and played it to the jury.

Jones will continue his testimony on Wednesday. Outside the hearing of the jury, Judge Maya Guerra Gamble admonished Jones for violating orders that specified that she was not allowed to discuss his finances and for offering answers that strayed too far from the questions asked.

“When I return to testify tomorrow, once again, without aside,” the judge said. “Answer only the question that is asked.”

youtube, facebook Y Twitter have removed InfoWars and Jones from their platforms.

Facebook pages belonging to Jones or InfoWars had a combined total of more than 2.5 million followers, and Jones’s YouTube account had 2.4 million subscribers when the accounts were deleted in 2018.

Jones had around 900,000 followers on Twitter and InfoWars had around 430,000 when they were removed, also in 2018.

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