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Alex Jones' 2nd Sandy Hook Defamation Trial Set To Start In Connecticut

HuffPost 9/12/2022 Sebastian Murdock

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones will go to trial for the second time this year to answer for the lies he spread claiming the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting never happened.

A month after a Texas jury hit the loud-mouthed Infowars host with a $45 million verdict in a related case, another trial will kick off this week in Connecticut, where a jury will determine how much money Jones will have to pay to multiple family members of those who died in the massacre. The trial will be held in Waterbury, Connecticut, a 20-minute drive from Newtown, where the shooting occurred.

A default judgment has already been entered against Jones, and the trial will only determine damages.

For years, Jones used his right-wing conspiracy outlet’s massive platform to spread the lie that the shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead never happened. The lies led to continued harassment of the families still mourning their dead children and parents. 

At the center of their suffering was Jones, whose Infowars profits soared as he continued amplifying the lie over the years. But recently, Jones’ actions have caught up with him. Last year, Jones lost every defamationsuit brought against him by several Sandy Hook families after he routinely failed to provide court-ordered documents.

At the start of August, a jury in Austin, Texas ― where Infowars is based ― hit Jones with a more than $45 million verdict for the pain he caused Sandy Hook parents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose 6-year-old son, Jesse, was killed in the shooting.

For years, Alex Jones and his conspiracy outlet Infowars amplified the lie that 20 kids and six adults weren't killed in the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut, shooting. (Photo: Illustration: HuffPost/ Photo: Reuters) © Provided by HuffPost For years, Alex Jones and his conspiracy outlet Infowars amplified the lie that 20 kids and six adults weren't killed in the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut, shooting. (Photo: Illustration: HuffPost/ Photo: Reuters)

The August trial pulled back the curtain on Jones’ consistent unwillingness to stop spreading lies about the shooting even as others in his orbit ― including an Infowars editor ― begged him to stop. Jones also routinely gave airtime to Wolfgang Halbig, a 75-year-old extremist who continues to insist the shooting was a hoax.

Jones’ lack of remorse was on full display when Neil Heslin testified on the stand about his dead son. Jones was absent from court that day, retreating to his Infowars studio to call the parent of the slain child “slow” and “on the spectrum” to his audience.

When Jones finally took the stand, the family’s attorney, Mark Bankston, revealed to Jones that the conspiracist’s own legal team accidentally sent Bankston the contents of his cellphone.

“Did you know 12 days ago your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cellphone, with every text message you’ve sent for the past two years?” Bankston asked Jones on the stand. “And when informed did not take any steps to identify those texts as privileged?”

Bankston revealed Jones’ phone had a text mentioning Sandy Hook, despite Jones previously testifying that he had turned over all of his texts related to the shooting.

“You know what perjury is, right?” Bankston asked him. The next day, a jury ruled Jones must pay $4.1 million in compensatory damages. The day after that, the jury ruled Jones must pay an additional $45 million in punitive damages.

Testimony in the Connecticut trial is expected to start Tuesday.

Erica Lafferty, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Jones, lost her mother in the shooting. Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung was the principal at Sandy Hook and died protecting the children she loved. Lafferty is now an advocate for gun violence prevention, and told HuffPost in June that she still hears her mother’s encouraging words during difficult times.

“Every time I feel like I’m ready to give up, I hear her say, ‘Kid, keep fighting,’” Lafferty said of her mom.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

Alex Jones attempts to answer questions about his text messages asked by Mark Bankston, lawyer for Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, during trial at the Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Wednesday Aug. 3, 2022. Jones testified Wednesday that he now understands it was irresponsible of him to declare the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre a hoax and that he now believes it was “100% real. © Provided by HuffPost Alex Jones attempts to answer questions about his text messages asked by Mark Bankston, lawyer for Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, during trial at the Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Wednesday Aug. 3, 2022. Jones testified Wednesday that he now understands it was irresponsible of him to declare the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre a hoax and that he now believes it was “100% real.
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