The jury hearing the case will determine how much damages Jones will have to pay to his parents, Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, who won a default judgment against him earlier this year. An attorney representing Heslin and Lewis asked the jury last week to award Heslin and Lewis $150 million.
Sometimes holding back tears, Heslin told the jury that Jones, through his conspiratorial media organization, Infowars, had “stained the honor and legacy” of his son. Heslin says he can’t even “begin to describe the last nine and a half years of hell” he’s endured because of Jones.
“A strong deterrent is needed to stop him from peddling this propaganda,” Heslin said.
As Heslin testified, the television screen in the courtroom showed a photograph of his murdered 6-year-old son, Jesse Lewis. Jones, who is expected to testify in his defense later on Tuesday, was absent from the courtroom during Heslin’s testimony and the first part of Lewis’ testimony. Heslin called the absence “an act of cowardice.”
“I’ve been here for a week and a half and [during] my final testimony Mr. Alex Jones did not have the courage to sit in front of me or face me,” Heslin said.
An attorney representing Heslin and Lewis told CNN that the two needed to be isolated and under professional security during the trial.
Heslin also took the stance that the lie pushed by Jones “reverberated around the world” and that he realized “how dangerous it is”.
Heslin described having repeatedly confronted Jones’ believers over the past ten years, saying such interactions occur “to this day.”
“My life was at stake,” Heslin said. “I fear for my life. I fear for the safety of me and my family and their lives.”
‘Jesse was real. I’m a real mother’
In a remarkable moment in court, Lewis spoke directly to Jones, who was in the courtroom after the trial ended at lunch. She said she wanted to talk to Jones in front of him.
“Jesse was real,” Lewis told Jones. “I’m a real mother.”
Lewis told Jones that she thought he didn’t really believe the lies he pushed about Sandy Hook.
“That’s the point, I know you know it,” Lewis told Jones. “But you go ahead. Why? Why? For the money?”
Lewis said that “getting shot in the forehead by a six-year-old boy” while at school was an “unbearable pain.”
“And then let someone keep lying that it was a hoax, that it didn’t happen, that it was a false flag, and that I was an actress – You think I’m a cast?” Lewis asked.
Lewis told the jury that monetary damages were appropriate in the case because she did not believe Jones would ever stop.
“There hasn’t been a single sincere apology,” she said. “But if there was, I liken it to a car accident and you run over someone and cause massive bodily harm and you look at that person lying on the ground and say, ‘I’m so sorry. sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m not responsible for any damage I just caused. But I’m sorry.’ That’s how I see it.”
Despite that, Lewis said she doesn’t believe Jones understands the consequences of “going on air to a huge audience and lying and calling this a hoax.”
Lewis told Jones: “It seems unbelievable to me that we have to do this. “That we have to beg you – not just beg you, punish you – to make you stop lying… What’s going on here is so surreal.”
Lewis also testified in court that she had been harassed and received death threats, including at her own home, all of which she said reopened the wounds surrounding the child’s murder. his son.
Lewis said: “Fear, anxiety and insecurity… make me incurable. “It definitely negatively impacts the healing process.”
Lewis described the Sandy Hook conspiracy theories as “incredibly disturbing.”
“I feel compromised,” Lewis said, describing how she feels about her personal security.
Roy Lubit, a forensic psychiatrist who was hired to conduct the autopsy on Heslin and Lewis, testified in court on Monday about the extent of his horror and concern for the fathers’ personal safety. mom.
Lubit told the court that Lewis and Heslin were “very, very scared.” When asked to state who they are afraid of, Lubit replied, “Some of Jones’ followers are trying to kill them.”
Lubit added that Lewis slept with a gun, a knife and pepper spray on her nightly counter. Lubit added that she won’t even turn on the air conditioner on hot days for fear of not being able to hear an intruder who might come to hurt her.
Lewis testified on Tuesday that she possessed a gun to keep her other son safe, telling the jury she failed to keep a son safe and would do whatever it took. her ability to ensure that no harm was done to her remaining child.
‘This is not your show’
Jones took a stance in the afternoon, telling the court he felt “good” because he was being given the opportunity to fight the plaintiffs and the media.
From the stands, Jones told Heslin and Lewis, “I never meant to hurt you.”
Jones said that “the internet is full of questions” about the shooting of Sandy Hook, and so did he. Jones argued that he was simply “trying to find out what really happened.”
After the jury left the courtroom following Jones’ testimony, Mark Bankston, an attorney for the plaintiff, accused Jones and his attorney, Federico Andino Reynal, of attempting to “poison” the trial. Bankston said that it would file a motion for sanctions against both Jones and Reynal.
Bankston specifically said Jones violated a court order when he tried to discuss his net worth from the stands.
Mr. Jones just knowingly did it in violation of your order to try to poison this punitive judgment to try to tell the jury that he broke, and he didn’t, and that violates violate your order,” Bankston told the judge.
Judge Maya Guerra Gamble said she would hear any formal move to be filed on sanctions against Jones and Reynal after the conclusion of the trial.
But Gamble warned Jones of his behavior and said he had broken his oath to tell the truth twice.
“Mr. Jones, you must not tell the jury that you have complied with the discovery. That is not true. You must not say it back. You must not tell the jury that you have gone bankrupt. right,” Gamble said.
“You took an oath to tell the truth,” Gamble added. “You broke that oath twice today, in just those two examples. It seems absurd to instruct you again that you must tell the truth while testifying. Yet here I am. .”
“This is not your gig,” Gamble added.
Jones tried to tell Gamble that he believed he was telling the truth.
“You believe everything you say is true, but your beliefs don’t make something true,” says Gamble. “That’s what we’re doing here. Just because you claim to think something is true doesn’t make it true. It doesn’t protect you. It’s not allowed. You’re making a claim. It means that things really have to be as they are when you say them.”
At the conclusion of the court proceedings, Lewis walked up to Jones and gave him a bottle of water because he complained of difficulty speaking due to a tear in his larynx.
Jones began talking to Lewis and Heslin and the exchange with Heslin heated up.
An attorney for Heslin and Lewis interjected, telling Jones as he escorted his client out of the courtroom, “That’s not even thinking. That’s not how it happened.”
Jones shouted back, “Why can’t you give them fake videos anymore?”
Other legal developments
Jones has attacked the ongoing judicial proceedings, last week unfounded that he was being tried in Texas before a “kangaroo court.” Infowars has also published content attacking judges overseeing cases in viscous terms.
Jury selection for a similar trial involving the Jones and Sandy Hook families began Tuesday in Connecticut, where Jones was also held liable for damages earlier this year. However, jury selection was suspended after Jones’ attorneys filed documents in federal court to clear the bankruptcy case filed by Free Speech Systems.
Attorneys representing several of the Sandy Hook families have accused Jones of draining Free Speech System assets in recent years as part of an effort to protect himself from potential convictions that he may not have received. he may have to pay.
One of the lawyers, Avi Moshenberg, told CNN on Tuesday that bankruptcy filings filed by Free Speech Systems indicated that $62 million in assets had been withdrawn from the company in 2021 and 2022.
“If you look at the bankruptcy filing, which resulted in bankruptcy, Alex Jones, sole proprietor [of Free Speech Systems], which pulled in $62 million in draws in 2021 and 2022,” Moshenberg told CNN. Just frankly draw the lottery. That is why the company has few assets. “
An attorney representing Jones did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday morning. But a hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, in which W. Marc Schwartz, director of restructuring for the Free Language System, is expected to testify.
CNN’s Sonia Moghe contributed to this report.