Florida man who plays Judas in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ tour charged in Jan. 6 Capitol riot

Florida

Violent rioters storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

TAMPA (WFLA/AP) – A Broadway actor currently playing Judas in a traveling production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” was arrested Tuesday on charges related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, authorities said.

James Beeks, 49, of Orlando, is charged with obstruction of Congress, which is a felony, and unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds, a misdemeanor, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

According to court documents, Beeks joined with others objecting to President Joe Biden’s election victory over former President Donald Trump.

At one point during the attack, a group of Oath Keeper members and affiliates marched in “stack” formation into the Capitol grounds and then up the east steps of the Capitol to the area outside of the Rotunda doors. Beeks was part of a mob of people, including some who attacked law enforcement, prosecutors said. The doors were eventually breached, and the group stormed into the Capitol.

Once inside the Capitol, the group split up. Half of them, including Beeks, tried to push their way through a line of law enforcement officers guarding a hallway that led to the Senate chamber, officials said. Law enforcement forcibly repelled their advance. Beeks and others with him regrouped in the Rotunda and then left the building.

Before the confrontation, Beeks joined with a group of Oath Keepers while walking from the Ellipse, where Trump had held a “Stop the Steal” rally, to the Capitol, officials said. Unlike the camouflage-combat attire of many in the group, Beeks was wearing a Michael Jackson “BAD” world tour jacket and a black helmet, and he was carrying what appeared to be a homemade black shield, officials said.

According to NBC News, Beeks is performing in a traveling 50th anniversary tour of “Jesus Christ Superstar” under the stage name of James T. Justis. He is playing the part of Judas.

In the ten months since Jan. 6, more than 675 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 210 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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