Alex Jones’ attorneys by chance gave up the contents of his cellphone, Sandy Hook legal professionals say


The legal team representing Infowars founder Alex Jones inadvertently sent the contents of his cell phone to a lawyer representing the parents of a child killed in the Sandy Hook mass shooting, the parents’ lawyer said in court Wednesday.

The apparent mistake, which was demonstrated by the attorney Mark Bankston and Jones on the stand at the damages stage of his defamation trial, previously undisclosed texts about the massacre and financial information about Infowars were discovered. Bankston, who represents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, told the far-right conspiracy theorist that his attorneys “came in and sent me a full digital copy of your cell phone.”

“And that’s how I know you lied to me when you said you didn’t have text messages about Sandy Hook,” Bankston said.

“This is your ‘Perry Mason’ moment,” Jones replied, referring to the fictional lawyer known for his 11th-hour courtroom prowess. “I gave them my phone.”

Bankston noted that Jones testified under oath that he personally searched his cell phone for Sandy Hook text messages and was unable to find any. Bankston asked, “You know what perjury is, right? I just want to make sure you know before we go any further.”

Jones denied lying, saying, “I’m not a tech guy.”

The dramatic moment came when Bankston cross-examined Jones, shortly before closing arguments in the damages phase of the defamation trial that began last week in an Austin courtroom. Heslin and Lewis sued in 2018 over the media personality’s relentlessly false claims that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a “massive hoax”.

Sandy Hook parents fight Alex Jones, say bogus claims created ‘living hell’

After years of Jones refusing to comply with court orders and hand over documents and evidence in lawsuits, District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble of Travis County, Tex., found Jones responsible for all damages in September. She issued a default judgment against Jones, blasting him and his website’s parent company, Free Speech Systems, for “willfully disobeying” the court’s requests by denying documents related to the various lawsuits against him to turn back.

When confronting Jones about the newly discovered text messages in court on Wednesday, Bankston showed one of them, in which an editor working for Jones sent him a screenshot of an Infowars article claiming a hospital was using dummies in a ward the coronavirus. The editor, Paul Watson, wrote that it “makes us look ridiculous” and added, “Sandy Hook again.” Jones texted back, “I get it.”

Bankston also asked about his emails. He noted that Jones testified that he knew nothing about Sandy Hook because he does not use email. Jones said in court, “Yes. I personally cannot go on the internet and sit there and use email. I never sent emails myself. Because I don’t like it. I can’t stand it. There are too many of them.”

The attorney then showed emails he said Jones sent to lawyers, staff and others about business operations.

He did not respond to messages about Infowars’ financial information, which he said contradicted Jones’ previous statements about how much money he made. Bankston revealed that Jones claimed to have lost millions due to unsubscribing and made up to $200,000 a day. But, he said, messages on Jones’ phone suggested Infowars bring in as much as $800,000 on certain days. If it continued that pace, he said, it would add up to about $300 million a year.

Jones claimed the numbers were picked. At one point, as Bankston went over the contents of the phone, he joked, “This is ridiculous.”

Gamble told jurors that what the lawyers say is not evidence, adding that without evidence, it is not yet known whether the contents of the phone were accidentally given to the Sandy Hook parents’ attorney.

“But what we do know,” the judge said, “is that he wasn’t properly turned over when he should have been.”

Despite conceding in his testimony Wednesday that the 2012 shooting was not a hoax but “100 percent real,” Jones continued throughout the trial to defend himself from critics of his broadcasts while trying to protect his financial assets from potentially devastating damages. for the plaintiffs.

Jones last week filed for emergency bankruptcy for Free Speech Systems, just months later file for bankruptcy protection for Infowars and two other business ventures.

Alex Jones media company files for bankruptcy during Sandy Hook trial

The families have said that admissions and apologies from Jones are not enough; they are seeking at least $150 million in damages.

An expensive damages payment would add to a string of legal losses for Jones and Infowars since the parents of Sandy Hook victims began filing defamation suits in 2018, after Jones made repeated claims on his show that the shooting was a hoax and the victims in their “crisis. actors.” Judges in Connecticut and Texas issued default judgments against Jones in multiple suits.

At least nine Sandy Hook families are suing Jones.

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