Parents of Sandy Hook victims demand accountability in Alex Jones' defamation trial.

 Parents of Sandy Hook victims demand accountability in Alex Jones' defamation trial.

Parents of Sandy Hook victims demand accountability in Alex Jones' defamation trial.

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The parents of a Sandy Hook school shooting victim testified Tuesday during Alex Jones' two-week defamation trial, saying the Texas-based conspiracy theorist must be held accountable for the lies he has spread about the tragedy.


Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, who died in the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting in 2012, are suing Jones for $150 million in defamation.


Jones testified late Tuesday afternoon and will continue on Wednesday morning.


Heslin stated during his testimony on Tuesday that he needs Jones to be held accountable in order to move on with his life and recover from the trauma of the tragedy.


During the trial, Heslin stated, "You can never recover from the loss of a child." "When a child dies, you lose a piece of yourself." Your child's death has left you feeling violated. It's something you can't get back."


Lewis aimed her testimony at Jones: "Jesse was genuine. I am a true mother."


The trial is the first of three to determine monetary penalties for defamation and emotional distress caused by Jones' lies about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which killed 20 students and six educators. Jones claimed repeatedly on Infowars, his Austin-based website and broadcast, that the mass shooting was staged by the government in order to take away Americans' guns.

An Austin judge granted Jones a default judgment for defamation in October after he called the school shooting a hoax, prompting Jones' listeners to harass the victims' families. Jones has lost all of the defamation lawsuits filed by the families of Sandy Hook victims in the last year.


When Jones took the stand, his attorney, F. Andino Reynal, inquired how he was doing. "I actually feel good," Jones responded. He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to clarify what the corporate media got wrong in covering his comments about the Sandy Hook shooting.


Reynal's questions on Tuesday focused primarily on Jones' background, how he got started in media, his company Infowars, and how much time he devotes to his job.


Heslin stated that the outcome of this lawsuit will help to restore his own credibility and reputation, which were harmed by Jones, as well as his son's legacy.


Previously, the family described their son as a hero. When he first heard shots during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, he ran into the school hallway, according to his family's obituary on legacy.com. Jesse confronted the shooter and yelled for other children to flee, allowing nine children to escape the classroom they were hiding in.


Jones was not present in the courtroom during Heslin's testimony and only briefly during Lewis'. Jones' absence was deemed "disrespectful" and "cowardly" by Heslin. Jones appeared on Infowars during or shortly after Heslin's testimony and spoke about the plaintiff, using what one of Heslin's lawyers described as "inflammatory" language. During a trial video clip shown Tuesday, Jones said Heslin is a "nice man" who has been "manipulated by some very bad people." He does not believe Heslin is "stupid," but he does believe he is "slow."


Lewis expressed gratitude for the opportunity to deliver part of her testimony in front of Jones. He had impacted almost every day of her life since her son's death, she said, and it was a relief to finally be able to testify.

"I know there are hoaxes out there, but this is a completely genuine event." "I lived it," Lewis explained.


She stated that she does not believe Jones will stop spreading misinformation until he is held accountable and punished in a way that teaches him a lesson.


Lewis compared losing her son to the "phantom pains" people feel when they lose a limb during her testimony. Even though he is no longer alive, she is haunted by his death every day.


The lies told by Jones and his team about the tragedy have exacerbated Lewis's pain. As a result of Jones' lies, Lewis and Heslin have received numerous accusatory emails and death threats. Lewis has stated that she feels unsafe in her own home, where she has resided since Jesse's death.


According to their lawyer, Mark Bankston, Heslin and Lewis have been placed in isolation under the protection of a heightened security force.


"Unfortunately, following some encounters — which did not occur in the courthouse, but occurred here in the city of Austin — my clients are now in isolation, and they are being protected by a large security staff," Bankston explained.

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