“Jesus Christ Superstar” actor charged in US Capitol riot

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A Florida man and actor who plays Judas in the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” has joined the list of Oath Keepers charged with participating in the US Capitol riot on January 6.

James Beeks, 49, has been charged with obstructing Congress and illegally entering the Capitol area.

This is the latest charge coming from cooperation agreement struck with members of the Oath Keepers who have already pleaded guilty.

According to an Oath Keeper identified in court records as “Defendant 4” cooperating with the investigation, Beeks approached the Oath Keepers group when they went to the Capitol and said he was a member. Prosecutors later discovered that Beeks had paid fees to the Oath Keepers organization two weeks before the attack.

Beeks wore a helmet and body camera, defendant 4 said, and wore a homemade shield that he claimed was bulletproof.

Unlike other Oath Keepers who came to the Capitol dressed in armor, Beeks was photographed wearing a Michael Jackson BAD world tour jacket. Beeks regularly appears as a Michael Jackson impersonator, FBI agents noted in legal documents. His YouTube page describes him as “one of the best artists for the Michael Jackson Tribute in the United States.”

Once inside the building, Beeks worked with a group of Oath Keepers who were trying to break into a row of police officers guarding a hall to the Senate chamber, according to court documents.

Federal investigators looked at Beeks – who goes by the stage name “James T. Justis” – at two traveling performances of the show in California this month to confirm his identity before being arrested on Tuesday. They also matched photographs of Beek’s ear at the Capitol with a song video he posted on YouTube.

The next production of Jesus Christ Superstar began on Tuesday, the day of Beek’s arrest. He is no longer listed as part of the cast.

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