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A San Francisco Bay Area man who faces more than nine years in prison after being found guilty of threatening to murder Jews in 2019 may receive court-supervised mental health treatment instead of a prison sentence.

Ross Farca, 26, was arrested for describing on gaming platform Steam how he wanted to commit a mass shooting of Jews. He was described by the lead prosecutor in the case as “a serious danger to members of the Jewish faith.”

He was found guilty of four felonies: two counts of illegal manufacture and possession of an assault weapon and two counts for threatening a police officer. He was also found guilty of a civil rights misdemeanor for “oppress[ing] and threaten[ing] Jewish people in the free exercise and enjoyment” of their religious rights.

According to JWeekly, Farca’s lawyers made a last ditch attempt to convince the judge to change his punishment from a prison sentence to mental health treatment.

If the judge approves the request, Farca would be released into California’s mental health diversion program.

Farca has already spent nearly two years in jail for violating the terms of his bail. Sentencing for his conviction has been postponed by the court so that his lawyers can make a case that he should receive counselling instead of a prison term. The district attorney’s office has continued to call for Farca to receive the maximum allowable sentence of nine years in a state prison.

The counselling diversion program allows California judges the ability to decide that people guilty of certain crimes can undergo treatment instead of prison if the defendant has a mental health issue that “played a significant role” in the crime they committed. A mental health expert must give their opinion on whether the defendant would improve with treatment. The program can be inpatient or outpatient.

Farca’s lawyers are arguing for outpatient treatment for their client.

A court hearing is scheduled for February 28.