Actor Accused at Capitol Riot Almost Talks About Staying in Prison – CBS Baltimore

WASHINGTON (AP) – An actor accused of storming the U.S. Capitol as a member of the far-right militia group The Oath Keepers was almost in talks to stay in prison after a judge heard on Monday that the Florida man was challenging the court’s jurisdiction over him.

A prosecutor said he had no plans to seek pre-trial detention for James Beeks of Orlando, Florida, until he learned in court that the actor did not accept court jurisdiction over him. he.

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Beeks, who performed in the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” and impersonated Michael Jackson, initially refused to be represented by an attorney and made what the judge called a “gobbledygook”.

“A defendant who refuses to submit to court jurisdiction, refuses to obey U.S. law, or rejects a provision of law is generally not brought before trial because he or she cannot be trusted to comply with the laws of the United States. conditions of pretrial release,” US Sheriff US District Judge Beryl Howell warned Beeks during a hearing in federal court in Washington, DC

According to prosecutors, the production company that uses Beeks said he recently informed the company that he was a “sovereign citizen”. During Monday’s hearing, Beeks denied being part of a radical “sovereign citizenship” movement that claims the US government is illegitimate.

His chances of being released from prison seemed to wane as he gave answers the judge said she could not understand. Then another attorney, Michelle Peterson, intervened for Beeks.

Beeks then had Petersen represent him and was ordered to be released from prison after agreeing to abide by the terms of his release set by the court, such as agreeing to GPS tracking, not owning a gun, and not being in possession of a gun. have any contact with members of the Oath-Keepers.

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Beeks was arrested in Milwaukee last Tuesday. He has yet to be charged with obstruction of Congress and a misdemeanor count of trespassing into a restricted building or property.

Authorities said Beeks, who entered the Capitol wearing a coat from Michael Jackson’s “BAD” world tour, was a member of the Oath Keepers and had paid the group’s dues two weeks before the incident. violence.

Officials said that since January 6, more than 650 people have been arrested in nearly 50 states on charges related to the trespassing on the US Capitol.

Several of the other defendants charged during the Capitol riots espoused ideologies and expressed rhetoric that seemed consistent with the “sovereign citizenship” movement.

In September, another federal judge in Washington jailed self-represented defendant Pauline Bauer for failing to comply with a court order to cooperate with probation officers during her pre-trial release. Bauer, who owns a restaurant in rural Kane, Pennsylvania, repeatedly interrupted the judge during hearings and argued in vain that the court did not have any jurisdiction over her.

(© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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