The defamation trial of Infowars host and noted conspiracy theorist Alex Jones got rather awkward after the lawyer for parents of a child murdered during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting presented messages taken from Jones’ phone to the court, revealing they were given to him accidentally by Jones’ own lawyer.
Lawyer Mark Bankston who represents the parents of Jesse Lewis—a 6-year-old murdered at the school—said the incriminating messages show Jones was lying when he said he didn’t have any communications about Sandy Hook.
Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis are suing for damages after a prior court ruling found Jones committed defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Jones seemed stunned after Bankston called him out on the stand in the current trial in Austin, Texas to determine what penalty Jones will face for promoting lies and conspiracy theories about the December 14, 2012 school shooting where 20 children age 6 - 7-years-old and six adult staff members were murdered.
On the same day the shooting happened, Jones published an episode of InfoWars across social media saying, "Don't ever think this couldn't be staged." For years he repeatedly suggested the mass shooting could have been a false flag "staged event" and the victims and families just "crisis actors."
You can watch what happened after the trial text message revelation in the video below.
“Mr. Jones did you know that 12 days ago your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cell phone with every text message you’ve sent for the past two years and when informed did not take any steps to identify it as privileged or protect it in anyway, and as of two days ago it fell into my possession and that is how I know you lied to me when you said you didn’t have text message about Sandy Hook? Did you know that?”
Jones appeared taken aback and conceded he might have been "mistaken" about who he'd sent the text to, which prompted Bankston to ask him if he knows "what perjury is."
The moment quickly went viral, stunning trial viewers and prompting them to criticize Jones further.
The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary received renewed attention in the wake of last month's mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas in which a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers in a fourth and fifth grade classroom.
The Sandy Hook shooting—notorious for being the deadliest mass shooting at a school in United States history—continued to live in infamy in light of the seemingly endless number of conspiracy theories about the event.
In April 2018, Jones was sued for defamation by three parents whose children were killed in the shooting. Jones said the shooting was "completely fake" and a "giant hoax" perpetrated by opponents of the Second Amendment.
Last year, Jones was ordered to pay damages and criticized by a judge for failing to hand over documents requested by the courts. In April 2022, three companies affiliated with Jones filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, according to court documents.
The move was widely perceived as a gambit to avoid paying damages in relation to defamation lawsuits from families of victims of the shooting.
Jones ultimately withdrew his bankruptcy filing.