Capitol riot: Michael Jackson imitator clashes with judge in court

A Michael Jackson impersonator who is accused of participating in the US Capitol riot has clashed with a judge after rejecting the court’s authority.

James Beeks was accused of “gobbledygook” by the judge after claiming he had “divine” authority.

Also an actor, Mr Beeks was arrested after FBI agents went to several of his performances of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar.

He is among nearly 700 people charged over the 6 January riot.

Mr Beeks is charged with obstruction of Congress and unlawful entry of a restricted building. He has yet to enter a plea to the charges he faces.

Prosecutors were not seeking pre-trial detention for him at Monday’s hearing in Washington DC, but he was nearly remanded in custody after a courtroom outburst.

The defendant, of Orlando, Florida, argued that he had “divine” authority, and that he could not serve as his own lawyer in a trial.

“I cannot represent myself because I am myself,” he said.

After Mr Beeks claimed to be exempt from the US legal system, the judge told him: “That’s all gobbledygook.”

“A defendant who rejects the jurisdiction of the court, rejects being subject to the laws of the United States, rejects the rule of law is not typically released pre-trial because that person cannot be trusted to comply with the conditions of pre-trial release,” Chief US District Judge Beryl Howell warned him.

Mr Beeks denied being an adherent of the so-called sovereign citizen movement, rejecting the label as an “insult”.

The judge eventually allowed him to be released on condition that he wear a GPS tracking device, does not possess firearms, and avoids all contact with Oath Keepers, an anti-government militia of which he is alleged to be a member.

Mr Beeks was arrested in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, last week after the agents attended two shows of a travelling performance of Jesus Christ Superstar, in which he plays Judas.

Investigators say Mr Beeks wore a jacket from the pop star’s 1987 “Bad” world tour to the riot, and brought a homemade shield.

He was among the first rioters to enter the Capitol building, according to an FBI affidavit.

Several other alleged Capitol rioters have also argued that the sovereign citizen movement makes them immune from prosecution.

In September, a Pennsylvania restaurant owner was ordered to be jailed by another Washington DC judge after failing to comply with the conditions of her pre-trial release.

Pauline Bauer, who is acting as her own lawyer, quoted Bible verses in court and interrupted the judge while claiming that she was a “free living soul” not subject to US laws.

She also argued that she does not legally qualify as a “person” and is instead a “vessel” or “living embodiment of God’s creation”.

source: bbc

Ray Charles Marfo

Digital Marketing and Brands Expert

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