U.S. News

Sandy Hook Victim’s Parents Seek to ‘Restore the Honor’ of Their Son

“My son existed.”

Those phrases, spoken in an Austin courtroom this week, had been half of Scarlett Lewis’s testimony about her son Jesse, who was 6 when he and 19 different first graders and 6 educators had been killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

Ms. Lewis and Jesse’s father, Neil Heslin, spoke at the first of three trials to determine the damages to be paid by Alex Jones, the Infowars conspiracy theorist, for defaming the households who lost family members in the capturing.

The testimony by Jesse’s mother and father has turned a highlight on the torment of these households, and the years of anguish and threats they’ve endured after Mr. Jones known as the Sandy Hook bloodbath a hoax by the authorities as a pretext for confiscating Americans’ firearms.

The court docket continuing got here after Mr. Jones lost 4 defamation circumstances final year that had been filed in opposition to him by the households of 10 of the capturing victims. The plaintiffs received default judgments after he failed to adjust to discovery by withholding paperwork and testimony.

The jury awarded Ms. Lewis and Mr. Heslin greater than $4 million in damages on Thursday, two days after they spoke of their baby, their recollections and the hurt posed by disinformation.

“I am a mother first and foremost and I know you are a father. My son existed,” Ms. Lewis said to Mr. Jones in court on Tuesday. She added, “I hope to accomplish an era of truth.”

Ms. Lewis, who together with Mr. Heslin is searching for $150 million in damages, retains {a photograph} of Jesse in her dwelling in Newtown, Conn., that reveals the boy with a broad smile. His physique is now buried in a cemetery down the road from the home.

Ms. Lewis created a nonprofit youth group, Choose Love Movement, in Jesse’s identify. It develops social and emotional growth packages for kids and adults.

Mr. Heslin described horrifying encounters with conspiracy theorists, together with harassing telephone calls and personal confrontations. Someone, he testified, as soon as drove previous his dwelling and shouted “Alex Jones!” Then he heard the sound of gunfire.

Mr. Heslin, who paused incessantly to weep throughout his testimony, described his son as an brisk boy with a booming voice. The two of them, he stated, appreciated to accumulate scrap metallic and recyclables that Jesse would return for spending money.

Two related damages trials are scheduled for subsequent month. Lenny Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, the mother and father of Noah Pozner, one other of the capturing victims, are set to testify at the second trial, which will even be held in Austin. The third trial, involving the households of eight different victims, will likely be in Connecticut.

Speaking in court docket on Wednesday a day after Jesse’s mother and father appeared, Mr. Jones acknowledged that the Sandy Hook capturing was not a hoax.

“Especially since I’ve met the parents,” he testified. “It’s 100 percent real.”

Back to top button