The father of a six-year-old child murdered in a 2012 school shooting said conspiracy theorist Alex Jones made his and other parents’ lives a ‘living hell.’
Sandy Hook parents took the stand in the InfoWars owner’s ongoing defamation trial, including Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of victim Jesse Lewis.
Heslin said he wanted to ‘restore the honor and legacy of my son that was tarnished by Mr Jones’.
He also called Jones’s decision not to appear in court for his testimony ‘a cowardly act’, adding that ‘Mr Alex Jones does not have the courage sit in front of me and face me this morning’.
Heslin provided details about how Jones’ coverage of the tragedy spurred his fans to harrass the parents of the victims.
‘I can’t even describe the last nine-and-a-half years of living hell that I and others have had to endure because of the negligence and the recklessness of Alex Jones.’
After Jones featured segments on his show calling Heslin and his son ‘crisis actors’, the grieving father went through years of abuse at the hands of the conspiracy theorist’s fans.
Heslin said that he faced street harrassment, online abuse and anonymous phone calls from InfoWars fans.
Heslin recalled one particularly harrowing encounter when one of Jones’s supporters located and shot at his home.
‘Two years back, my home was shot up, and my vehicle was shot up in my yard. That’s disturbing,’ Heslin said. ‘He drove by my home shouting out the window “Alex Jones!” and what sounded like gunfire came from the vehicle.’
Jesse’s mother Scarlett Lewis also took the stand to testify. She told the court that she first heard about Jones and the conspiracy theorists from family members only days after the tragedy occurred.
‘There was someone saying that the tragedy hadn’t happened. Which was so crazy to me because I was living it,’ she said.
Lewis testified that she received emails and threats, including death threats. One email sent to Lewis demanded to see Heslin’s birth certificate to verify that he was actually Jesse’s father.
The emailer had also combed through Lewis’s life, calling her ‘appalling and disgusting’ and a ‘fraud’.
Heslin said that it was ‘too late’ for Jones to issue an apology, saying, ‘I don’t even know if Alex is capable of a sincere apology.’
Heslin and Lewis are seeking $150million in damages, which Heslin described as the ‘only way to put a stop to it, to prevent this from happening anymore.’
Previous trials in Texas and Connecticut have found Jones liable for defamation.
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