On January 9, 2021, James Beeks, a former actor who had infiltrated the Capitol with the Oath Keepers, was cleared of all charges related to the attack on the building.
Conspiracy to hinder an official procedure and civil disturbance was among the allegations against Beeks and his co-defendant, Donovan Crowl (Oath Keeper). The jury found Crowl guilty on both counts.
Beeks sought a stipulated bench trial instead of one before a jury of his peers. Prosecutors agreed to drop one misdemeanor and three felony counts when the case would be presented to a lone judge rather than a jury.
On Tuesday, Greg Hunter, an attorney for Beeks, said that the decision was partly made because of Judge Mehta’s familiarity with the case material. For the riot-related Oath Keeper cases, Mehta has been in charge.
Minutes before the closing statements began, Beeks surrendered his right to represent himself and permitted Hunter to take over.
Before Judge Mehta, Hunter contended that Beeks was not a prominent figure in the Oath Keepers’ plot to prevent the certification of the 2020 election but rather a “hangers-on” and “wannabe” among them.
Beeks, a former actor, played Judas in a nationwide tour of “Jesus Christ Superstar” before he was arrested. In a press conference on Tuesday, he joked that if he were to be acquitted, he would “do a song and dance right there.”
Donavan Crowl, an Ohio State Regular Militia member, arrived in Washington on January 6 with Oath Keeper Jessica Watkins. Watkins was found not guilty of seditious conspiracy but guilty of other charges, leading to an eight-and-a-half-year jail term.
Prosecutors on Tuesday called Crowl Watkins’ “ideological equal” and his deputy. The “key to the case,” as Crowl’s lawyer Carmen Hernandez maintained, is that on January 6th, Crowl traveled to Washington, DC, solely intending to protect longtime Trump associate Roger Stone.
Kellye SoRelle, the former general counsel of the Oath Keepers and a third defendant in the case was found to lack the mental capacity to proceed with the trial.
Several members of the Oath Keepers, including its leader Stewart Rhodes, have been convicted of significant charges, including seditious conspiracy, for their participation in a scheme to prevent the certification of the 2020 election.
The most current tally from the Justice Department puts the number of rioters accused in connection with the Capitol attack at over a thousand.