Alex Jones’ attorney mistakenly sent text messages from his two-year-old to an attorney representing the parents of a child killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting, a court has been told.
Arch Bankston, who represented Mark Heslin and Scarlett Lewis in the defamation suit against Jones, made the surprising claim during cross-examination with the InfoWars founder on Wednesday.
Mr Bankston asked Jones: “Did you know that 12 days ago your lawyers messed up and sent me a complete digital copy of your entire cell phone with every text message you’ve sent over the past two years?
“And when informed did not take any steps to identify it as privileged?”
Jones claimed in the search that he was unable to find any text related to the Sandy Hook shooting on his phone.
“If I was mistaken I was mistaken, you’ve got the text messages right there,” Jones replied.
Jones denied that he had lied under oath.
A jury is deciding how much Jones should indemnify Heslin and Lewis, who lost their six-year-old son Jesse Lewis in the 2012 school shooting that claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults.
Jones testified Wednesday that he now understands it was irresponsible of him to declare the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre a hoax and now believes it was “100 pcs genuine.”
Speaking a day after the parents of a 6-year-old boy killed in a 2012 attack, Jones testified about the suffering, death threats and harassment he faced because of the trumpet he played on his media platform. Granted, the Infowars host told a Texas courtroom that he definitely thinks there was an assault.
“Especially since I met the parents. This 100 pc is real,” Jones said in his trial to determine how much he and his media company, Free Speech Systems, owed for defaming Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis. His son Jesse Lewis was among those 20 students. and was among six teachers who were killed in the attack in Newtown, Connecticut, the deadliest school shooting in American history.
But Heslin and Lewis said Tuesday that apologizing would not be enough and that Jones should be held accountable for repeatedly spreading lies about the attack. They are seeking at least $150 million.
Jones told the jury that any compensation above $2 million “would overwhelm us,” but added: “Ï It’s fair to whatever you want to decide.”
The testimony ended around noon and the closing arguments were expected to begin by Wednesday afternoon.
Jones was the only person to testify in his defense. His lawyer asked him if he now understood that it was “absolutely irresponsible” to pursue false claims that the massacre had not occurred and that no one had died.
Jones said he does, but added, “They (the media) won’t let me take it back.”
He also complained that he was “typecast as someone who talks about Sandy Hook, makes money from Sandy Hook, is obsessed with Sandy Hook.”
Under cross-examination on behalf of Attorney Mark Bankston, Jones acknowledged his history of mounting conspiracy claims about other mass tragedies, from the Oklahoma City and Boston Marathon bombings to the mass shootings in Las Vegas and Parkland, Florida.
Bankston then went after Jones’ credibility, showing an InfoWars video clip from last week when a host – not Jones – claimed the trial was rigged and had a picture of a judge in flames. Then came another clip of Jones asking whether the jury had been selected from a group of people “who don’t know what planet they live on”. Jones said he didn’t mean that part literally.
Bankston said Jones had not complied with court orders to provide text messages and emails to collect pre-trial evidence. “I don’t use email,” Jones said, then shown to have gathered from another source that came from his email address. He replied: “I would have decided that.”
At one point, Bankston informs Jones that his lawyers had mistakenly sent Bankston messages worth the previous two years from Jones’ cellphone.
The attorney also showed the court an email from an Infowars business executive informing Jones that the company had made $800,000 selling its products in a single day, which would amount to approximately $300 million a year. Jones said the company had its best day in sales.
Jones’ testimony came a day after Heslin and Lewis told the courtroom in Austin, where Jones and his companies are based, that Jones and false fraud claims that he and InfoWars put their lives under threat of death, online abuse and abuse. Made “living hell”. Harassment.
He led a day of implicated testimony on Tuesday, which included scolding Bombshell Jones for not being truthful with some of what the judge had said under oath.
In an amusing exchange, Lewis spoke directly to Jones, who sat about 10 feet away. Earlier that day, Jones was telling his audience on his broadcast show that Heslin is “slow” and being molested by bad guys.
At one point, Lewis asked Jones: “Do you think I’m an actor?”
“No, I don’t think you’re an actor,” Jones replied, before the judge advised him to remain silent until called to testify.
Heslin told the jury about holding his son with a bullet hole through his head, even describing how much damage his son’s body had suffered. A key section of the case is a 2017 Infowars broadcast stating that Heslin did not catch his son.
The jury was shown a school photograph of a smiling Jesse, taken two weeks before she was killed. The parents didn’t get the photo until after the shooting. He described how Jesse was known to tell classmates to “run away”. Which might have saved his life.
Jones initially took the stand later on Tuesday. At one point the judge sent the jury out of the courtroom and strongly reprimanded Jones for telling the jury that he had complied with the pre-trial evidence gathering, even though he did not and was insolvent, having been determined. has not been done. Plaintiffs’ attorneys were outraged by Jones’ mention of bankruptcy, which they worry would tarnish the jury’s decisions about damages.
“This is not your show,” judge Maya Guerra Gamble told Jones. “Your beliefs do not make anything true. You are under oath.”
Last September, the judge warned Jones in his default judgment over his failure to turn over the documents requested by the Sandy Hook families. A Connecticut court issued a similar default judgment against Jones for similar reasons in a separate lawsuit brought by the other Sandy Hook parent.
At stake in the lawsuit is how much Jones will pay. The parents have asked the jury to award $150 million in compensation for defamation and intentional emotional distress. The jury will then consider whether Jones and his company will pay punitive damages.
Jones has already tried to keep the free speech system financially secure. The company filed for federal bankruptcy protection last week. The Sandy Hook families have separately sued Jones’ financial claims, arguing that the company is trying to protect the millions owned by Jones and his family through shell entities.