A Florida man and actor playing Judas in the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” has joined the list of Oath Keepers charged for participating in the US Capitol riot on January 6.
James Beeks, 49, has been charged with obstruction of Congress and unlawfully entering Capitol grounds.
This is the most recent charge coming from cooperation deals struck with members of the Oath Keepers who have already pleaded guilty.
According to an Oath Keeper identified in court records as “Defendant 4” who is cooperating with the investigation, Beeks approached the group of Oath Keepers as they walked to the Capitol and said he was a member. Prosecutors later discovered that Beeks had paid dues to the Oath Keepers organization two weeks before the attack.
Beeks wore a helmet and body camera, Defendant 4 said, and carried a homemade shield that he claimed was bulletproof.
Unlike other Oath Keepers who came to the Capitol clad in body armor, Beeks was photographed wearing a Michael Jackson BAD world tour jacket. Beeks regularly performs as a Michael Jackson impersonator, FBI agents noted in court document. His YouTube page describes him as “one of the Top Michael Jackson Tribute artists in the US.”
Once inside the building, Beeks worked with a group of Oath Keepers attempting to break a line of police officers guarding a hallway to the Senate chamber, according to court documents.
Federal investigators watched 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 his arrest Tuesday. They also matched photographs of Beeks’ ear at the Capitol to a singing video he posted on YouTube.
The next production of Jesus Christ Superstar began Tuesday, the day of Beeks’ arrest. He is no longer listed as part of the cast.
Beeks is suspended indefinitely, said DJ Martin, marketing and communications director for the national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar.
“The touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar confirmed that James Beeks (aka James T. Justis) is suspended indefinitely from the company pending the outcome of the hearing,” Martin said in a statement. “The production is fully cooperating with authorities during the ongoing investigation.”
This story has been updated with additional details.