More than a year and a half after Concord police arrested a young man accused of plotting a mass shooting targeting Jews, a trial date has finally been set for Ross Farca.
The trial will begin Monday, Dec. 21 at the Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez. Farca, 24, faces five felonies, two with hate crime enhancements, and one misdemeanor; he allegedly posted threats against Jews on an online message board and, police say, built an illegal assault weapon in his bedroom.
The case has earned a high profile locally, attracting close coverage in the East Bay Times. In the Jewish news media, details about the allegations – made public only six weeks after the Poway synagogue shooting and eight months after the Pittsburgh Tree of Life massacre – have reached a national audience and have even been published in the Israeli press.
The prosecution will be led by Deputy District Attorney Dana Filkowski, a 23-year veteran of the district attorney’s office in the mostly suburban East Bay county. Farca is represented by Joseph Tully of the private defense firm Tully & Weiss, in Martinez.
Based on evidence presented during a preliminary hearing over several days last month, the prosecution is expected to argue that Farca, after legally purchasing a firearm “frame” or receiver in February 2019, proceeded to illegally modify it into a weapon of war using parts he ordered online, including a collapsible stock, high-powered sight and a pistol grip.
Filkowski is expected to tell jurors that Farca planned to carry out a mass shooting targeting Jews. During the preliminary hearing, the prosecutor pointed to threatening language posted online, such as a June 4 post on the social media and gaming website Steam, that proposed an attack “like [Poway shooter] John Earnest tried to do,” but with “a body count of like 30 kikes.”
Tully, the defense lawyer, is expected to argue as he did during the preliminary hearing that Farca had no intention of carrying out the threats he posted online, and that he was only “LARPing,” or live-action role playing, which is common on online message boards. “He’s an autistic young man who didn’t understand the ramifications of his statements,” Tully told J. in an interview last year.
The trial will begin at 8:45 a.m., with strict social distancing protocols in place. A spokesperson for the DA’s office said audio access will be available to the public on the court’s website.