Journalist: Rob Ryser
Source Link: CNT
January 25, 2021
Two fathers who lost children in the Sandy Hook massacre spoke out on Monday after the highest court in Texas rejected appeals by extremist Alex Jones to dismiss their defamation lawsuits against him.
“The First Amendment doesn’t give you the right to slander or defame or spread malicious lies that put people’s lives in jeopardy,” said Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse was one of 20 first-graders and six educators were slain at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. “I look forward to seeing Alex Jones in court, face to face.”
The Texas Supreme Court’s rejection of Jones’ appeals is the latest defeat in a streak of legal setbacks for the host of the Houston-based “Infowars” program, who faces four defamation lawsuits in Texas and Connecticut for calling the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre “staged,” “synthetic,” “manufactured,” “a giant hoax” and “completely fake with actors.”
Jones, whose lawyers argued unsuccessfully in Texas Supreme Court that the lawsuits against him should be dismissed because his speech is “protected commentary” under the First Amendment, has said in court filings that he no longer believes that the worst crime in modern Connecticut history was faked.
Lenny Pozner, whose son Noah was slain in the Sandy Hook massacre, said on Monday that Jones’ defense missed the point.
“Alex Jones isn’t being sued because he said that Sandy Hook never happened,” Pozner said. “He is being sued because he directed his 5 million followers to hunt me and my family; he is being sued because he defamed me.”
Jones’s lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
“Jones freely acknowledged that he did not ‘know the truth’ about what happened and was ‘not ready’ to ‘point my finger at parents and say they’re liars,’ reads Jones’ appeal in the Heslin lawsuit. “But, (Jones) stated, the media had misreported stories in the past, and ‘we have a right to question it.’”
The Texas court ruling means that three separate defamation suits brought by Heslin, by Pozner, Veronique De La Rosa, and by Scarlett Lewis, the mother of Jesse Lewis, will continue in the trial court.
The ruling does not affect a separate defamation case against Jones in Connecticut where Jones is appealing sanctions he received for a “blood in the streets” rant to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sandy Hook denial was in the headlines last week when news surfaced that a freshman Republican congresswoman from Georgia wrote in 2018 “that is all true” on a Facebook post claiming the Sandy Hook and 2018 Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida were “stagged [sic],” along with the 1981 assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said “no” last week when asked by a Hearst Connecticut Media reporter asked if Greene still believes the school shootings were staged.