• A psychiatrist testified in Alex Jones' trial that Sandy Hook parents fear conspiracy theorists.
  • The parents of a boy killed in the attack sleep with a gun near their bed, he testified. 
  • They experience harassment by people who believe the school shooting was a hoax.

The parents of a boy killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting worry about being killed and sleep with a gun near the bed due to harassment they've received after far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones falsely called the attack a hoax, a psychiatrist testified during Jones' defamation damages trial on Monday. 

Dr. Roy Lubit said Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis — the parents of one of the 20 grade-schoolers murdered in the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut, mass shooting and the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Jones — have post-traumatic stress disorder and constantly fear for their safety from the torment they've endured. 

Heslin and Lewis "carry a great deal of anxiety about being killed," and they sleep with a gun, knife, and pepper spray near the bed, Lubit told a Texas courtroom during the trial against the Infowars founder. 

"They are very, very frightened of someone — some follower of Jones trying to kill them," Lubit testified, adding that the parents "can't turn on their air conditioner during extremely hot weather because they can't risk not hearing something."

The couple have trouble sleeping and frequently wake in fear, Lubit told the court. 

Lewis is "constantly anxious" even when a car passes by her on the street and Heslin "has nightmares about Jones," said Lubit. 

They've hired security because of the on-going trial, and have pulled away from people "tremendously," he said. 

"Isolating" is common among people who have experienced trauma, according to Lubit. 

Scarlett Lewis, left, and Neil Heslin, right, the parents of Sandy Hook victim Jesse Lewis, are seen attending the defamation damages trial of Alex Jones on July 28. Foto: Briana Sanchez/Austin American-Statesman via AP, Pool

Spreading disinformation 

In the aftermath of the mass shooting that left 26 dead and the years to follow, Jones repeatedly told his audience the falsehood that the massacre was a "giant hoax" staged by the government with "crisis actors."

Aside from living with anxiety and fear about unhinged conspiracy theorists, the couple is also concerned about "the damage to the memory," of their 6-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, Lubit said.

Jones has already been found liable for defamation by the Texas court and a court in Connecticut for his portrayal of the massacre — the deadliest school shooting in American history.

The jury in the trial will determine how much money Jones must pay to Heslin and Lewis. 

Jones faces a separate defamation trial in Connecticut later this month. 

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