WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Family members of Sandy Hook victims continued testifying on Thursday in Alex Jones’ defamation trial. A jury will soon determine how much the conspiracy theorist will have to pay eight Sandy Hook families and one FBI agent for promoting the idea that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax.
“I already felt like I failed Emilie as a dad when she was alive because we sent her to school,” said Robbie Parker, who lost his daughter at Sandy Hook. “I was especially feeling like I was failing her in her death because of what they were saying about her.”
After losing his daughter on Dec. 14, 2012, Parker said he became a direct target of Jones.
“We see footage of one of the reported fathers of the victims, Robbie Parker, doing classic actor training,” Jones said in one of his Infowars shows.
Jones used this grieving father’s statement to mobilize his followers against Parker, prompting an onslaught of attacks. During his testimony Thursday, Parker shared an exchange that he had with a stranger on the streets of Seattle, Washington, a few years ago.
“He asks me, ‘didn’t you have a daughter that was killed?'” Parker recounted. “I reached out my hand to shake his hand, and he looked down at my hand, and he just stared at me. I’m sorry, judge, for what I need to say here. He was like, ‘how do you sleep at night? You [expletive] piece of [expletive]?’ I stared at him. He had so much venom and hatred in him.”
The harassment continues to this day.
“When I was at Southern, I was in a History 101 class,” said Matthew Soto, whose sister Victoria was killed at Sandy Hook. “The first day, the professor was going over the syllabus, going over what we’d be covering and got to the topic of media and current events. He asked the question, ‘how many of you think Sandy Hook actually happened?’ I was sitting in the room and had a panic attack because I saw my classmates raise their hands and not everyone raised their hand. I knew I was sitting in a room with people who thought I wasn’t real, that my sister wasn’t real.”
A judge last year found Jones and his company, Free Speech Systems, liable by default for defaming and inflicting emotional distress on the plaintiffs. Jones has since apologized and acknowledges the shooting happened. Jones’ lawyer, Norm Pattis, is trying to limit any damages the jury awards.
Testimony will resume Tuesday at 10 a.m. Jones is expected to retake the stand next week as a defense witness. Closing arguments and jury deliberations are expected to follow soon afterward.
In a similar trial last month in Austin, Texas, home to Jones and Infowars, a jury ordered Jones to pay nearly $50 million in damages to Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, the parents of Jesse Lewis, one of the children killed in the shooting, because of the hoax lies.