Sandy Hook parents await jury’s decision in Alex Jones trial


AUSTIN, TEXAS — After six days of testimony in the Texas Sandy Hook defamation awards trial, the jury is deliberating how much Alex Jones will pay two parents he defamed by calling the death of their son “a hoax.”

Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis won their defamation lawsuit against Jones, who promoted the Sandy Hook shootings that killed their son Jesse as a “hoax” staged with “crisis actors.” The trial focused on how much the jury will award the parents, who are claiming Jones’ “lies” are causing fear, anxiety and post-traumatic stress, on top of the grief that comes with losing a child.

The jury is to decide damages for Heslin for the loss of his reputation for Infowars coverage that occurred in 2017 — including a report questioning whether he held his son in the hours after he died. The 12-member jury must also decide how much Heslin and Lewis should receive for the intentional infliction of mental anguish that spanned from 2013 to 2018, the judge said during her instructions.

The 12-member jury began deliberating for a brief period late Wednesday afternoon following closing arguments. They are expected to resume Thursday morning.

On the stand, Jones downplayed the number of times his platform covered the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting since it occurred in 2012 and repeatedly made it clear that he believed children died, while apologizing to their families as he was on the stand for about four hours Tuesday and Wednesday.

“I really could believe it was fabricated,” Jones said Wednesday when he was asked about his Sandy Hook coverage in 2014.

“You do understand that was irresponsible?” his attorney Andino Reynal said.

“Yes,” Jones said, “especially after I met the parents, now I believe it’s 100 percent real.”