Black ‘Judas’ star of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ fired after arrest over alleged role in Jan 6. riot

Black ‘Judas’ star of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ fired after arrest over alleged role in Jan 6. riot

Not sure where the irony begins and the disgust ends … but an actor whose stage name is James T. Justis (spelled differently, but pronounced “justice”) was cast in the role of Judas—we can’t make this stuff up, folks—in the musical Jesus Christ Superstar was in court Monday for participating in the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

Justis, who also goes by James Beeks, was arrested in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia with obstruction of Congress, which is a felony, as well as a misdemeanor charge of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds.

Obviously he was cast perfectly as Judas. During his pretrial videoconference, Beeks, 49, told Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. that he was “an American standing under public law and I am here by special divine appearance.”

Beeks’ argument is linked to the “Sovereign Citizen” movement, but Beeks denied a connection, telling the judge: “I’m not a sovereign citizen. There’s no such thing. That’s an oxymoron and it’s even an insult.”

Howell was nonplussed, telling Beeks she had no idea what he was talking about. “That’s all gobbledygook,” Howell said. “Mr. Beeks, you should be quiet unless spoken to.”

Howell warned Beeks that a defendant “who objects to jurisdiction of the court rejects being subject to the laws of the United States,” adding that such defendants are “typically not released pretrial.”

Beeks took the advice of the judge and his attorney, accepting the conditions of GPS monitoring and a curfew, according to Deadline

According to court documents acquired by CNN, Beeks joined a group of Oath Keepers two weeks before the attack and introduced himself on Jan. 6. He arrived wearing a Michael Jackson tour jacket and carrying a shield. Along with the group, he attempted to plow through a line of Capitol police officers and break into the Senate chamber.

The Southern Poverty Law Center calls the Oath Keepers, who are mostly veterans, “one of the largest far-right antigovernment groups in the U.S.”

On Jan. 4, founder of the Oath Keepers Stewart Rhodes posted this: 

“It is CRITICAL that all patriots who can be in D.C. get to D.C. to stand tall in support of President Trump’s fight to defeat the enemies foreign and domestic who are attempting a coup, through the massive voter fraud and related attacks on our Republic. We Oath Keepers are both honor-bound and eager to be there in strength to do our part.”

Investigators located Beeks after attending two of his Jesus Christ Superstar performances. 

Beeks’ IMBD page lists his Broadway credits as roles in Kinky Boots, Aida, Ragtime, and Smokey Joe’s Cafe. According to NPR, Beeks also worked as a Michael Jackson impersonator. 

He was getting outstanding reviews for Judas.

Following his arrest, Beeks was promptly replaced in the production. 

From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

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