Father of Sandy Hook victim suing local conspiracy theorist for emotional distress
MADISON, Wis. — Leonard Pozner, the father of 6-year-old Noah, who was one of the 26 people killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, is suing conspiracy theorist James Fetzer for defamation.
Fetzer, of Oregon, Wisconsin, wrote the book “Nobody Died at Sandy Hook.”
In it, there are theories that claim Noah’s death certificate is fake and Pozner is lying about him being dead. The court has found three of the book’s statements to be defamatory.
Pozner claims he has post-traumatic stress disorder from those statements and the harassment he’s received because of the book.
“It said a lot of ugly things, and I felt like I needed to defend my son,” said Pozner on the stand.
A jury must decide how much money, if any, Pozner deserves because of the defamatory statements Fetzer made.
Tuesday morning the jury heard from Pozner and Dr. Roy Lubit, a forensic psychiatrist.
Pozner spoke about Noah and the death threats he’s received from people, including Lucy Richards.
Richards was sentenced to prison in 2017 for leaving Pozner threatening voicemails, saying, “Death is coming to you real soon.”
Pozner said his two daughters were with him when the voicemails began playing, and he was scared for their safety.
“He was deeply affected by the loss of his son… it went down hill after he was confronted by denials that it happened.”
Psychiatrist says man who lost son in #SandyHook shooting has PTSD because of a local conspiracy theorist. #news3now pic.twitter.com/WSJiZp8KYO
— Amanda Quintana (@AmandaQTV) October 15, 2019
He said he was “doing well” and interacting with people that were denying that Sandy Hook happened.
“I had attempted to be transparent. I published Noah’s death certificate on a social media page I used as a memorial page. And after doing that I was accused of being a fake and a fraud and that changed everything,” said Pozner.
Lubit testified that Pozner’s mental state “went downhill after he was confronted by the denials that it happened.”
Lubit said the actions of Fetzer and the allegations in his book led to various events, including threats to Pozner’s life and harassment that caused PTSD.
When Fetzer took the stand Tuesday afternoon, he continued to argue that the statements in his book aren’t defamatory “because they’re true,” but the judge wouldn’t allow him to argue the legitimacy of the false statements.
Fetzer’s attorneys argue that he did not intend to incite violence or criminal activity with his book, which was removed by Amazon so Fetzer made it available for free online.
His attorneys also said there is no proof that the actions of harassers or those who are threatening Pozner were set in motion by the statements in Fetzer’s book.
“(Pozner) basically said that he’s afraid because other people have threatened him, but that’s not an element or a symptom of PTSD,” said Richard Bolton, Fetzer’s attorney.
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