Sandy Hook Parents Tie Years of Threats and Vitriol to Alex Jones

Author: Yuvi September 30, 2022

Sandy Hook Parents Tie Years of Threats and Vitriol to Alex Jones

WATERBURY, Conn. — For nearly a decade, Robbie and Alissa Parker stayed mum about the damage Alex Jones’s lies about their daughter Emilie’s death at Sandy Hook Elementary had done to their family.

This week they ended their silence in a Connecticut courtroom, delivering a wrenching and angry rebuke to Mr. Jones, who for years on his Infowars show and website replayed Mr. Parker’s televised tribute to his daughter the night after her death in the 2012 shooting, calling him an “actor” and his presentation about Emilie “disgusting.”

“I’d been taught that you don’t engage with a bully,” Mr. Parker told a jury on Thursday. But he decided to sue Mr. Jones for defamation because “I already felt like I failed Emilie when she was alive because I sent her to school.” By not fighting back against the false theories, “I was starting to feel like I was failing her in her death.”

Mr. Parker is a key witness in the Connecticut damages case, which families of eight Sandy Hook victims and an FBI agent implicated in the conspiracy theories won by default. The jury will decide how much Mr. Jones and Infowars must pay in damages.

Mr. Jones aired video of Mr. Parker’s remarks on the night after his daughter’s murder, labeling him a liar in attacks that continued for years. In so doing Mr. Jones made Mr. Parker the face of his bogus claims that the Dec. 14, 2012, mass shooting that killed 20 first graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., was staged by the government as a pretext for gun control, and the families were complicit in the plot.

Understand the Cases Against Alex Jones

Card 1 of 6

A united front. Alex Jones, a far-right conspiracy theorist, is the focus of a long-running legal battle waged by families of victims of a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012. Here is what to know:

Defamation lawsuits. The families of 10 Sandy Hook victims sued Mr. Jones in four separate lawsuits. The cases never made it to a jury; Mr. Jones was found liable by default in all of them because he refused to turn over documents, including financial records, ordered by the courts over four years of litigation.

Mr. Jones’s line of defense. The Infowars host has claimed that his right to free speech protected him, even though the outcome of the cases was due to the fact that he failed to provide the necessary documents and testify.

Three trials. There will be three trials in total to determine how much Mr. Jones must pay the families of the Sandy Hook victims. The first happened in Austin, Texas, and a second trial is currently underway in Connecticut. The third trial is tentatively scheduled for later this year in Austin, but a date has not yet been set.

Compensatory and punitive damages. On Aug. 4, a jury in the Texas trial awarded the parents of one of the children killed in the mass shooting more than $4 million in compensatory damages and another $45.2 million in punitive damages. The current trial in Connecticut could be financially ruinous for Mr. Jones because of what is allowed by state law.

Mr. Parker had not known he was the first Sandy Hook relative to speak publicly when he agreed to meet what he thought would be a reporter in front of his church in Newtown. Faced with a sea of ​​cameras and reporters, he gave a short, nervous laugh before launching into an emotional reminiscence of Emilie as a big sister, proficient artist and empathetic 6-year-old who drew pictures and cards for people she sensed were upset. Mr. Jones seized on that laugh to attack Mr. Parker as an actor, in multiple broadcasts over the years, excerpts from which were aired for the jury.

On Wednesday, Alissa Parker testified that the vicious comments and threats from believers in the hoax on a memorial Facebook page honoring Emilie so terrified her that she could not remember much of her daughter’s funeral. Mr. Parker testified that five minutes before the services, he found Mrs. Parker hiding in a coat closet, afraid to attend the funeral.

Grief should be “sacred,” Mr. Parker said Thursday, but he said Mr. Jones and his followers had stolen that from him.

Mr. Parker’s testimony was his first opportunity to address Mr. Jones with what he has endured. The Infowars fabulist was not in court on Thursday; he has skipped most of the trial except for one day of testimony last week, when he loudly declared he was “done” apologizing for defaming the eight victims’ families with his lies about the 2012 shooting and their suffering.

In testimony on Wednesday and Thursday, Mr. and Mrs. Parker demonstrated to the jury how Mr. Jones’s words — and the virtual siege that followed — terrified them, disrupted Emilie’s funeral and ignited online abuse, death threats and a confrontation on the street with a man who verbally attacked Mr. Parker, followed him for blocks and asked him how much he had earned from the government for lying about the shooting.

Mr. Parker told the jury on Thursday that he could tell without watching Infowars when Mr. Jones had mentioned him on his show because threats to his family surged. But the family members did not fight back until this lawsuit, Mr. Parker said, because they were afraid that engaging with the conspiracy theorists would ratchet up the attacks.

Late last year, Mr. Jones lost four separate defamation lawsuits filed by the families of 10 Sandy Hook victims. The families’ sweeping victory set in motion three trials for jury to decide how much Mr. Jones should pay the families in compensatory and punitive damages.

In the first trial earlier this summer, a jury in Austin, Texas, awarded Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, parents of Jesse Lewis, who died at Sandy Hook, nearly $50 million, though that total may be revised because the Texas law caps verdicts at far less.

The Connecticut trial is the second of the three, with testimony scheduled to conclude late next week. Connecticut law allows for a potentially ruinous financial verdict against Mr. Jones, who was found to have violated a state law prohibiting the use of lies to sell products.

Mr. Jones has reaped more than $50 million in revenues annually in recent years by selling diet supplements, gun paraphernalia and survivalist gear on his broadcasts.

In excerpts from a videotaped deposition shown to the jury after Mr. Parker’s testimony on Thursday, David Jones, Mr. Jones’s father and the Infowars employee who got him into the supplements business, testified that Mr. Jones’s broadcasts used “puffery” to capitalize on viewers’ fears and sell products.

“Our customers are so loyal to us,” David Jones said, “that if we say something is good and good for you, they’re going to buy it, and buy a lot of it.”

30 September, 2022, 4:12 am

News Cinema on twitter News Cinema on facebook

Friday, 30th September 2022

More Stories
Andy Jassy says Amazon will allow the antisemitic film that Kyrie Irving tweeted to remain on sale for now.
Pamela Rosenkranz Wins the High Line Plinth’s Third Commission
Royal Family news LIVE: William and Kate land in Boston for a three-day visit to the US
Powell says that rates will rise more and remain high ‘for some time.’
San Francisco Considers Allowing Use of Deadly Robots by Police
Life Science, Spacewalk Preps as Station Orbits Higher
NATO Nations Grow More Receptive to US Pleas to Confront China
Prince William and Kate Middleton land in Boston for US trip amid royal race row
New York Police Name a Chief Who Has Faced Internal Discipline
South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, Faces Impeachment Hearing
Mother sparks furious debate after waxing her 10-year-old daughter’s face
Outcome in Oath Keepers Trial Could Hold Lessons for Coming Jan. 6 Cases
Elon Musk’s Neuralink to share progress of its brain chip tonight
Sam Brinton: Biden’s nuclear waste guru spoke at a spanking seminar weeks after bag theft
Could Theatrical Movies Shut Out Streamers for the Top Oscars?
17 Public Employees Charged in Schemes to Steal Covid Relief Funds
Deaths From Substance Abuse Rise Sharply Among Older Americans in 2020
White House ‘deeply concerned’ about Paul Whelan
‘Philadelphia is a war zone’: thug strolls up to parking official and shoots him in the head
Indian-origin doc slams ‘racist joke’ at British Curry Awards
Argentina’s World Cup Hangs in the Balance Against Poland
China completes world’s largest solar telescope array with 1.9-mile-wide ring of 313 dishes
Bigg Boss 16 Day 60 Updates: Housemates call Nimrit unfair for favoring Shiv and Soundarya in ranking task
FIFA World Cup 2022: Defending champion France lost to Tunisia
Mariah Carey offers fans opportunity to stay in her apartment BUT the star won’t even be there
House PASSES bill to stop a rail strike on December 9 after Biden asked Congress to step in
In Georgia, Walker’s Pace in the Finish Worries Republican Allies
Hiroshi Miyamura, Given Medal of Honor in Korean War, Dies at 97
Cops kill Illinois man and his grandpa while trying to stop younger man from stabbing his relative
A Resonant Topic in Georgia’s Senate Runoff: Insulin Prices
Spotify Wrapped drops but Apple Music Replay fans have it trending
The five ‘saboteurs’ trying to derail Kevin McCarthy’s Speaker bid: GOP leader’s allies push back
Biden gives 11 tribes $135M to move coastal buildings to higher ground due to climate change
FIFA World Cup 2022: Lionel Messi’s Argentina qualification scenario ahead of must-win clash vs Poland
MDMA could be approved for PTSD in the US by 2024
Moment Litvinenko said he’d been poisoned recreated for ITVX drama widow says keeps his voice alive
Layoffs Hit CNN as Cost-Cutting Pressure Mounts
In a Show of Unity, House Democrats Elect Hakeem Jeffries Minority Leader
Hit by sanctions over Ukraine war, Russia turns to India for products in its key sectors
Abhishek Banerjee, on Amitabh Bachchan as his role model, says ‘I want to do what he did in Deewar’
Verdict in Trump Organization Trial Could Come Down to 3 Little Words
Twitter’s former head of security says platform is LESS safe under Elon Musk and decries layoffs