Alex Jones Caught In Lie(s) At Defamation Trial

By Terrance Turner

Aug. 3, 2022

On Dec. 14, 2012, a gunman fatally shot his mother and took his AR-15 to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. There, he 20 killed first-graders and six educators before killing himself.

Since the day of that shooting, according to the Texas Tribune, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has poured salt into the wounds into those grieving families’ wounds by claiming the entire thing was a hoax. Today, he got his day in court, and lawyers for the Sandy Hook families cornered him, catching him in a lie about text messages and emails he claimed to not have.

As far back as 2015, Jones has his private company InfoWars to spread lies about the massacre, saying: “Sandy Hook is synthetic, completely fake, with actors, in my view, manufactured.” He’s called the massacre “a giant hoax” and a “false flag” operation carried about by “crisis actors”, per the Washington Post. He’s published the addresses of the victims’ families and called for the heads of their attorneys “On a pike”, according to the New York Times.

In June 2017, former Fox News host Megyn Kelly profiled Jones for a primetime special, giving him a platform for his lies — on Father’s Day, no less. During that special, the father of Jesse, a young boy killed in the shooting, recalled: “I held my son with a bullet hole through his head.” Jones quickly went online to claim the man was lying — repeating a claim he’s been making for years, to anyone who would listen.

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That sparked a lawsuit. Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of six-year-old Jesse Lewis — who was among the 20 students killed at Sandy Hook — have sued Jones for defamation. They are among several families that have sued Jones. “What was said about me and Sandy Hook itself resonates around the world,” Heslin said. “As time went on, I truly realized how dangerous it was.”

Also dangerous: the legal implications of Jones’ actions. According to a 2019 NBC News report, “Lawyers representing families of Sandy Hook massacre victims who are suing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones said they received child pornography in documents they were sent by the Infowars founder, according to court papers filed Monday in Connecticut. Consultants working with the lawyers discovered the images in the documents that were requested during a court hearing in April, the filing states. A lawyer representing the families immediately alerted the FBI,” per NBC.

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The ripple effect of Jones’ actions affected the victims’ families deeply. Mr. Heslin said that as a result of Jones’ slander, conspiracy theorists had tried to contact him by phone, confronted and shoved him on the street. Someone fired a gun into his house and car.

Yesterday, Heslin became emotional as he discussed about the impact of Jones’ public statements.

“He tarnished the honor and legacy of Jesse,” Heslin said, while fighting back tears. “I can’t even begin to describe the last nine and a half years of hell we’ve suffered because of [Jones]. There’s got to be a strong deterrent that shall prevent him from peddling this propaganda,” Heslin told the court. 

Jones wasn’t present for the testimony. But later that day, an accident of scheduling caused Jones to show up at the courtroom during Lewis’ testimony. She confronted him directly as she testified.

“Alex, I want you to hear this,” Ms. Lewis said, fixing him in her gaze. “We’re more polarized than ever as a country. Some of that is because of you.” Mr. Jones nervously shook his head.

“I am a mother first and foremost and I know you are a father. My son existed,” Lewis said to Jones. “Having a six year old son shot in the forehead is an unbearable pain,” she said. “And then to have someone on top of that perpetuate a lie that it was a hoax, that it didn’t happen, that it was a false flag, and that I was an actress…” she said as her voice trailed off.

“It seems so incredible to me that we have to do this,” Lewis said as she addressed Jones. “That we have to implore you — not just implore you, punish you — to get you to stop lying… It is surreal,” she continued.

Lewis asked Jones: “Do you think I’m an actor?”

“No, I don’t think you’re an actor,” Jones responded before the judge admonished him to be quiet until called to testify.

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Today, attorney Mark Bankston said Jones hadn’t complied with court orders to provide text message and emails for pretrial evidence gathering. Jones said, “I don’t use email,” then was showed one gathered from another source that came from his email address. He replied: “I must have dictated that.”

“One of the things that you were ordered to do in this lawsuit,” Bankston said, was “to turn over any text messages mentioning Sandy Hook. Right?”

“Yes,” Jones answered.

“And you didn’t have any, right?”

“Not that we could find,” Jones answered.

“And you in fact told me — in your testimony, sworn testimony, before coming to this courtroom — you searched. Right?”

“I did,” Jones said.

Bankston then showed Jones text messages between him and Paul Watson that mentioned Sandy Hook.

Then Bankston went for the jugular. “Did you know that 12 days ago — 12 days ago — your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cell phone, with every text message you’ve sent for the past two years?” he asked. “And when informed, did not take any steps to identify it as privileged, or protected in any way? And as of two days ago, it fell free and clear into my possession, and that is how I know you lied to me when you said you didn’t have any text messages about Sandy Hook?”

Jones was stunned — and for once, silent.

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