By Jack Queen
(Reuters) – U.S. conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is expected to take the stand on Tuesday to defend against claims that he must pay the parents of a child killed in the Sandy Hook massacre for falsely claiming the shooting was a hoax.
Jones, founder of the Infowars radio show and webcast, is on trial in a Texas court to determine how much he must pay for spreading falsehoods about the killing of 20 children and six staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012.
Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of slain 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, are seeking as much as $150 million from Jones and his company, Free Speech Systems LLC.
A lawyer for Jones said he had already paid a price after being deplatformed in 2018 and losing millions of viewers. Jones has since acknowledged that the shooting took place. He was expected to take the stand on Tuesday in his defense, a lawyer for the parents said.
The parents are also expected to testify on Tuesday.
The defamation suit in Austin, Texas, where Infowars is based, is one of several brought by families of victims who say Jones’s followers harassed them as a result of his false claims.
The Sandy Hook gunman, Adam Lanza, 20, used a Remington Bushmaster rifle to carry out the massacre. It ended when Lanza killed himself with the approaching sound of police sirens.
(Reporting by Jack Queen; Editing by Noeleen Walder, Howard Goller and Bradley Perrett)