InfoWars founder and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is set to testify to defend himself against claims he must pay the parents of elementary school children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting for claiming the massacre was a hoax.
Mr Jones is expected to testify on Tuesday. He is on trial in Austin, Texas, where InfoWars is based, to decide how much he should pay for spreading errors about the school shooting that killed 20 children and six adult employees at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. according Reuters.
Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of Jesse Lewis, who was six years old when he was shot dead on December 14, 2012, are seeking up to $150 million in damages from the radio and web host and his company . – Free Speech Systems LLC.
A lawyer representing Mr Jones said he had already faced fallout over the claims after he was pushed from the platforms in 2018, losing an audience of millions.
Mr Jones has since admitted the shooting was real. A lawyer representing the parents, who are also due to testify on Tuesday, said Mr Jones would take the stand today, according to Reuters.
The Texas defamation lawsuit is one of numerous cases filed by families of Sandy Hook victims who say they have been harassed by Mr. Jones’ fans after his false claims that the shooting was faked.
The gunman in the shooting, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, used a rifle — a Remington Bushmaster — in the shooting, which ended when he killed himself as police approached.
Free Speech Systems LLC filed for bankruptcy Friday, which normally would have ended the trial, but according to a court filing, the company planned to ask a bankruptcy judge to let the trial continue.
Mr. Jones and the company could try to use the bankruptcy case to limit the amount of damages awarded by a jury.
Three other InfoWars entities offered $10 million to settle the case in April, far below any amount offered by the families of the Sandy Hook victims.
That proposal also added protection from lawsuits for Mr. Jones and his company.
Those three entities, InfoW, IW Health and Prison Planet, have already filed for bankruptcy and voluntarily dropped their lawsuit last month when the Sandy Hook families dismissed them as defendants.
Last year, Mr. Jones was found liable in lawsuits brought by the Sandy Hook families.
These rulings came after Mr Jones defied court orders and refused to hand over documents relating to the case.
Mr Jones previously claimed the shooting was a hoax by those pushing for tighter gun control measures, with the help of the press.
Restructuring counsel for Free Speech Systems, Marc Schwartz, said in a court filing that it is in the company’s best interest to continue the ongoing litigation to determine damages because large sums of money have been spent by both parties.
The Sandy Hook families said the bankruptcy filing in April was a “weak” attempt to shield Jones’ assets from liability.
Regarding the most recent bankruptcy filing, Mr. Schwartz said the legal case related to Sandy Hook led to InfoWars being shut down by major Internet, social media and financial institutions and that its business declined because of it.
Attorney Mark Bankston represents the Sandy Hook families. Send a message Reuters last week, saying that “our clients are pleased that despite the bankruptcy, their trial will continue and that the jury will return a verdict.”
“Now, InfoWars is heading straight for its long-awaited reckoning,” he added.