Alex Jones' 'Perry Mason' moment: How InfoWars host perjured himself in Sandy Hook defamation trial
AUSTIN, TEXAS: Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones appeared stunned during cross-examination on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, at the defamation trial against him after he was told that his lawyers had handed over multiple text messages that he claimed did not exist. Jones has been accused of withholding key evidence in defamation lawsuits brought by the families for spreading lies about the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre. The InfoWars host had previously claimed that there were no messages on his phone about Sandy Hook. He was shocked to learn that despite claiming under oath that such texts did not exist, his team sent a digital copy of all the texts and emails about Sandy Hook, according to reports.
Attorney Mark Banston, who is working for the Sandy Hook parents, said that they received the information 12 days ago. The information spanned several years. Jones called it their ‘Perry Mason’ moment during the trial. He was accused of perjuring himself while giving evidence. The development comes before the jury begins deliberating about the amount Jones should pay for defaming the family of a victim who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. Jones appears to have lied on the witness stand by saying he turned over all text messages pertaining to the massacre and now legal experts say that the Infowars host could face aggravated perjury charges that carry a sentence of up to 10 years behind bars in Texas.
When asked whether he thought repeatedly claiming that the shooting was a hoax was irresponsible, he replied, "It was, especially since I've met the parents." "I truly meant it when I said those statements," he said, claiming he was "under a lot of pressure" when he made the claims. "When I say something, I mean it, that I really could believe that it was totally staged, that point."
What is a Perry Mason moment?
In the United States courts, a Perry Mason moment is said to have occurred whenever information is unexpectedly (to most present) and often dramatically, is introduced into the record changing the perception of the proceedings greatly and in most cases, influencing the outcome. It often comes in the form of a witness's answer to a question, but it could also be a new evidence. It takes its name from Perry Mason, a fictional character in novels and stories written by Erle Stanley Gardner, where such dramatic reversals occurred, often in the form of witnesses confessing to crimes others were accused of in response to the sudden exposure of inconsistency in their alibi.
Perry Mason moments are rare in actual American court proceedings.
The parents of one of the victims of the shooting, Jesse Heslin, 6, have said that an apology is not enough. Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis are now seeking at least $150 million, saying Jones should be held accountable for spreading falsehoods.
Attorney Mark Bankston told #AlexJones that his attorney messed up and sent him Jones' entire cell phone history. "Did you know that your lawyers messed up and sent me your entire cell phone texting history 12 days ago?" Bankston asked. "You know what perjury is right?" pic.twitter.com/IfIiP5UTIg— Law&Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) August 3, 2022
Judge Maya Guerra Gamble told the jury that the entire contents of the phone was "not properly turned over when it should have been." The messages revealed that Jones was making $800,00 a day in 2018, with the lawyer of the Sandy Hook parents saying, "after your platforming, your numbers keep getting better."
Jones is also under fire for saying he was bankrupt, which has not been determined. "This is not your show," Judge Maya Guerra Gamble told Jones. "Your beliefs do not make something true. You are under oath." Jones was admonished by Guerra in September 2021 over his failure to turn over documents requested by the Sandy Hook families. There are two kinds of perjury in Texas, misdemeanor perjury which involved making a false statement under oath and for Aggravated perjury, a felony, must happen during an official proceeding and must involve an issue that would affect the outcome of the case.
In a separate lawsuit by other Sandy Hook shooting victims' parents, they have asked the jury to award $150 million in compensation for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Jones has portrayed the lawsuit against him as an attack on his First Amendment rights. He has already been found liable for defamation for his portrayal of the Sandy Hook massacre as a hoax by courts in Texas and Connecticut.
#AlexJones testified that he was under a lot of pressure when he said that nobody died in the Sandy Hook shooting. "And I truly when I said those statements. When I say something, I mean it that I really couldn't believe that it was totally staged, that point," Jones said. pic.twitter.com/yul33bMC5d— Law&Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) August 3, 2022
After Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis testified about Jones' theories turning their lives into "a living hell", Jones approached their lawyers, with one of them telling him "shut your mouth". "That's what you're trying to do, shut my mouth, you'll never succeed," Jones said.
The mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School took place n December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut. 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot dead 26 people, 20 of who were children between six and seven years old. The others were adult staff members. Lanza killed himself by shooting himself in the head as first responders arrived at the school.