A Florida actor who played Judas in the movie ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ was arrested in the January 6 riot


An Orlando actor who played Judas on the US tour of the Broadway mega-hit “Jesus Christ Superstar” was arrested Tuesday by federal prosecutors, a member of the Oath Keepers of the Right-wing Militia, claiming to have joined the US. Citol in January.

James Beeks, 49, is accused of obstructing Congress and entering a restricted building, according to a federal affidavit. In an attempt to prevent Congress from ratifying the 2020 election, the rioters attacked the Seattle complex that day, falsely asserting that it was mobilized against then-President Donald Trump.

An unknown member of the Oath Keepers confessed to the riot that Beeks’ presence was not known in Seattle, explaining to investigators that Michael Jackson wore a “Bad World Tour” jacket, belonging to a military-style “stack.” Formation with members of the militia group during the breach.

Several riot photos show a man wearing a jacket wearing battle gear with members of the Youth Keepers, but his face was covered with a helmet and gaiter, which he never removed. Surveillance video showed a member of the Oath Keepers and a jacket wearing Sitol entering.

Investigators were able to identify Beeks using data from his cellphone and credit card information, the affidavit said. Data shows he paid annual membership to Oath Keepers weeks before the riot, prosecutors say.

At least 20 affiliates of the anti-government organization have been accused of participating in the coup, three of whom have pleaded guilty. One member, publicly identified as “defendant 4,” spoke with investigators about Beeks but said he did not know who he was at the time.

Beeks told other Oath Keepers in the riot that he was a new member and began following social media posts by Dunnellon-based member Kelly Megs, who was later arrested with his wife, Connie Meigs, Defendant 4 said.

Investigators later found photos of Beeks wearing the same tour jacket, and said he was partially identified by the image of the riot and his right ear seen in the video on his Youtube page.

Beeks, whose stage name is James T. Justice was previously part of the production of “Kinky Boots” before starring in “Jesus Christ Superstar”, which is currently touring North America on its 50th anniversary. He is also known as the Michael Jackson impersonator.

Beeks was performing in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the weeks following his Tuesday arrest, and according to archived copies of the tour’s website, the cast was changed.

Stephen Gabriel, executive producer of Work Light Productions, which produces the “Jesus Christ Superstar” tour, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Beeks’ next court date has not been set.

creyes-rios@orlandosentinel.com

© 2021 Orlando Sentinel. visit orlandosentinel.com. LBL, LLC.

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