A Superior Court Judge this week set a firm date for the preliminary hearing in the Ross Farca case.
A preliminary hearing is when a judge determines whether prosecutors have enough evidence to proceed to trial. This is a pivotal first step in criminal proceedings in California.
Farca, 23, was arrested on June 10 in Concord after describing a plan on an online message board” to “mow down” scores of Jews in a Christchurch-style massacre livestreamed “with Nazi music.” At the time of his arrest, police said that when they searched Farca’s home they found a semi-automatic assault weapon, more than a dozen high capacity magazines and Nazi literature.
After multiple postponements that were mutually agreed upon by attorneys on both sides, Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Theresa J. Canepa was “adamant” on Thursday that the preliminary hearing would be held on Dec. 9, with no further delay.
The preliminary hearing will take a day and a half, and will include testimony from the FBI. According to police reports the FBI was the first law enforcement agency to receive a tip about Farca’s alleged threats, which were made on the video game networking website Steam.
One of the people who saw Farca’s alleged threats online was a 19-year-old student who lives in Sweden. The student, who reached out to J. over email, took screenshots of the posts – from the user name “Adolf Hitler (((6 MILLION)))” – and shared them on Reddit, where “an American moderator told me he would file an FBI report,” he told J.
“I thought he was just some random troll” at first, he said. “It was actually a few days after he left these comments that I read through them and realized it was serious.”
The preliminary hearing, before Judge Canepa, will begin at 8:45 a.m. at the A.F. Bray Courthouse in Martinez.