Sister of Sandy Hook teacher says family ‘feared for lives’ after Alex Jones hoax claims

·2 min read

The sister of a teacher who died during the Sandy Hook massacre broke down in tears as she testified that her family “feared for our lives” after Alex Jones branded the shooting a hoax.

Carlee Soto-Parisi told the court that her family was threatened and harassed as Jones made wild allegations about false-flag operations and paid crisis actors in the wake of the 2012 elementary school shooting.

Ms Soto-Parisi’s 27-year-old sister, Vicki Soto, was murdered by gunman Adam Lanza when he attacked the school, killing 26 children and teachers.

The trial is taking place in Waterbury, Connecticut, less than 20 miles from Newtown, to determine how much the right-wing media figure should pay the families for his false claims the shooting was a hoax.

It is the second such trial for Jones, who last month was ordered by a Texas jury to pay almost $50m to the parent of one of the murdered children.

“I’m not a liar. It’s hurtful. It’s devastating. It’s crippling. You can’t grieve properly because you’re constantly defending your family and your loved ones,” she told the jury of three men and three women.

She sobbed as she described rushing to the fire station after the shooting and begging teachers from the school to tell her where her sister was.

She told the court that she told a state trooper assigned to her that her sister “looks just like me” and that she had been trying to text her, but never heard anything back.

The jury, along with several alternates, will decide how much Jones will have to pay the families of eight victims and an FBI agent who responded to the scene of the massacre.

Jones was found liable without a trial last year by Judge Barbara Bellis after he failed to turn over documents to the families’ lawyer.

The trial is expected to last about a month and will hear testimony from both Jones, who was not in court on the opening day, and the families.