News

Ideafarm vows to fight conviction

Refuses deal to avoid jail time; will contest charges

Going against the advice of his public defender and drawing gestures of exasperation from prosecutors, Wo'O Ideafarm convinced a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge last week to postpone sentencing him, so that he might "prepare an attack on the validity of the trial."

Best known for his curbside displays of signs emblazoned with provocative messages, he was convicted on Oct. 28 of multiple counts of willfully and maliciously obstructing a public street and for being a public nuisance. He was scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 8, but the sentencing proceeding was continued for at least six-weeks.

The charges he faces stem from a three-day period -- Jan. 21 to Jan. 23 -- when Ideafarm decided to return to the streets of Mountain View after a lengthy hiatus, to protest what he said was an abridgment of his First Amendment right of free speech. He held a sign while standing just off the corner of either Castro Street and El Camino Real or Moffett Boulevard and Central Expressway. In each case he was standing in the street, outside of the bounds of the crosswalk.

According to Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Cindy Hendrickson, who is familiar with the case, none of the authorities involved in Ideafarm's prosecution -- from the police up to the District Attorney's office -- have any intention of stifling free speech. She noted that recordings of Ideafarm's encounters with police, which he recorded himself, demonstrate the patience of responding police officers.

"The defendant's conduct goes way beyond (speaking his mind)," Hendrickson said. "Some people have a message, other people want attention." She said she believes it was clear that, in the case of Ideafarm, it is the latter.

"In this particular case, he was standing in a traffic lane," Hendrickson said, referring to Ideafarm. "The bottom line in our goal is the safety of the public and to not allow Mr. Ideafarm to hijack police resources."

Hendrickson added that the judge presiding over Ideafarm's current case has been very patient and fair during the proceedings.

At the Nov. 8 hearing, Judge Allison Danner appeared to listen intently and earnestly to Ideafarm, and did not become angry when he interrupted her.

Danner provided Ideafarm with a written copy of her recommended punishment: three years court probation, plus fines and fees. The sentence also carried with it an incentive for Ideafarm's cooperation; the city of Mountain View and the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office were prepared to drop two other pending criminal cases against Ideafarm.

Ideafarm refused sentence, which would have allowed him to remain free, albeit on probation. Instead, he informed the judge that he planned to challenge the ruling, saying he knew of a variety of legal "attacks" he could make against the proposed sentence.

Ideafarm's lawyer, Andrew Tursi, said little while the self-identified "public speaker" recited a number of legal maneuvers he believed he could use to postpone his sentencing and possibly get a new judge to consider the case.

In the hallway after the hearing at the Palo Alto Courthouse, Tursi appeared frustrated as his client held forth about corruption within the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office and among Mountain View officials and police.

Later, in an email to the Voice, Ideafarm compared his attorney to Judas Iscariot. "For 30 pieces of silver, he was handing me over to be crucified," Ideafarm wrote, adding that his lawyer was ready to give up on the case as soon as the judge handed down her verdict, and implying that Tursi didn't have his entire heart in it. "These people are not called 'public pretenders' for nothing."

After a private conference with lawyers from the city and the DA's office, as well as with Tursi, Danner advised Ideafarm that his action would result in the withdrawal of the DA's offer to drop its pending cases against him. An attorney for the city of Mountain View then said the city would withdraw its offer to drop its cases against him as well. Ideafarm indicated he was fine with this.

The judge also asked him why he intended to stall the sentencing process.

"Because I want to win," he responded.

Outside the courtroom, after the hearing, Ideafarm told the Voice that he welcomes the continuation of the current case as well as the beginning of the pending cases against him -- one of which involves his alleged false imprisonment of a woman, whom he believed had tampered with one of his signs.

During that incident, Ideafarm grabbed the woman and told her he was placing her under citizen's arrest. In the struggle the pair fell to the ground. He was later arrested by Mountain View police. who said they did not accept the validity of his arrest.

When asked why he didn't accept a sentence that would have allowed him to stay out of jail, and which would have resulted in the dropping of the two pending cases, Ideafarm said that he didn't believe he should be put on probation, as it would increase his "vulnerability to police harassment."

"Those cases are even more outrageous than this case," he said. "I don't mind them going to trial. I want them to go to trial. I want them to be publicly viewed."

He said that then the corruption of the court and the city would become apparent and that the people of Mountain View might finally wake up and become aware that they are being oppressed.

The way Hendrickson sees it, Ideafarm is not being oppressed.

"His behavior suggests, rather than having a message, he really wants to get attention -- any kind of attention," she said.

While the DA's office has currently withdrawn the offer to drop Ideafarm's other cases, that doesn't mean that offer won't be extended again, should he decide to be cooperative. And that's not because of any fear over what Ideafarm has to say. Instead it's more a matter of practicality, Hendrickson said.

"We've got other cases we're trying in Santa Clara County. This is not the 'Ideafarm courtroom.'" she said.

Comments

Posted by John, a resident of another community
on Nov 15, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Go 49ers.


Posted by DR. GIGGLES, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 15, 2013 at 2:18 pm

When are people going to talk about IdeaFarm's thoughts on Gender Dysmorphic Disorder? I'm sure that factors into the case somehow.


Posted by Gorgo the Impaler, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 15, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Mental illness.


Posted by kevin , a resident of Gemello
on Nov 15, 2013 at 2:28 pm

This Guy is a Certified Nut Job wasting the Cities Resources.


Posted by Otto Maddox, a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 15, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Whether we agree with the defendant we should all support his right to due process.

If he's entitled to appeal his case so be it. I do think it's interesting that the state will change your charges depending on how much you put up a fight.

Exercise your rights and they will charge you with more crimes.

That doesn't sound like justice to me.


Posted by Charlene, a resident of Castro City
on Nov 15, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Charlene is a registered user.

He needs mental help!! Now!! Do you think he would go for it? I feel for him.


Posted by Charlene, a resident of Castro City
on Nov 15, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Charlene is a registered user.

@Otto, I agree with you. While he may be going about this in a strange way, he should be given a chance to defend himself. If he doesn't think his lawyer can help, that's his choice; I just hope he gets it together and finds peace.


Posted by Confused, a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 15, 2013 at 2:40 pm

This sentence is confusing
"He was later arrested by Mountain View police. who said they did not accept the validity of his arrest."
The police arrested him and didn't accept the validity of their own arrest?


Posted by Flava Dave, a resident of Shoreline West
on Nov 15, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Flava Dave is a registered user.

The police arrested him and didn't accept the validity of their own arrest?

Of his citizens arrest.


Posted by Woohoo Ideafarm, YOU GO!! Take it to the limit, a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 15, 2013 at 3:45 pm

These garbage cases should not even be in court, this is what we pay BIG money, big pension, big medical to our judges, to rule over a circus?

This should of been thrown out a long time ago. Why is the Judge even ruling on this, to force the hand of justice on an innocent person.

"punishment: three years court probation, plus fines and fees." What for holding a sign in the street. How many homeless people do you see with signs? This is way too harsh of a punishment. This whole thing needs to be thrown out.

Ideafarm, maybe your next move should be to have a re-trial because of your lousy lawyer not representing you. :)

GOOOOO Idea Farm, We are with you all the way. USE the courts to its full extent. And please tell us all about the corruptions and misjustice they have or will show you. We are all ears.


Posted by David Roode, a resident of another community
on Nov 15, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Wo'O, you have my support!


Posted by Liz, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 15, 2013 at 6:16 pm

This guy is nuts.. So if he gets hit by a car while holding his sign and sued the driver. You are okay with that !!


Posted by R U Kidding, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 15, 2013 at 6:47 pm

There is song with the words: "Woah oh...oh oh.. Woah oh.. Oh oh"

It is called Lunatic Fringe.

Should definitely be this guy's theme song.


Posted by Waldo, a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 15, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Waldo is a registered user.

It seems Ideafarm is destined to end up in jail, and among inmates with less patience than his current imagined "oppressors." Sadly, he may get more attention than he bargained for.


Posted by Enough already, a resident of Gemello
on Nov 16, 2013 at 10:05 am

Who cares?this case will get dismissed or pleaded for probation or something. I'm tired of seeing his name and it seems his is an attention wh0re


Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 16, 2013 at 2:21 pm

He is a man of many convictions.


Posted by Mr Advice, a resident of Bailey Park
on Nov 16, 2013 at 7:01 pm

The Judge is mandated to court order a Lobotomy upon conviction.


Posted by Alan, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 16, 2013 at 11:53 pm

At least he did not attack any women this time.


Posted by Steven A., a resident of Shoreline West
on Nov 17, 2013 at 10:33 pm

See this guy all the time on Shoreline Ave. He's often on the corner and nobody bothers him. Just keep out of the street and don't create a danger for others.


Posted by timo, a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 18, 2013 at 12:50 am

I've been reading and or hearing about this ideafarm for years and if I was a juror for his trial I'd say let him speak his mind as long as he's not causing harm. Give him a jaywalking ticket, and investigate his claim that the woman he citizen arrested did anything to his property, I believe the police treat u differently depending on the profile u fit. The whole system is biased.


Posted by Steve, a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2013 at 6:50 am

If he just would have ridden out of town when the sherrif told him to, he could have avoided all this trouble. But some people just don't know what's best for them.


Posted by Angela Hey, Mountain View Voice Blogger
on Nov 18, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Angela Hey is a registered user.

Ideafarm needs friends and another cause to focus on that is less disruptive. Hard to get treatment for his attention-seeking - Web Link


Posted by mike, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 19, 2013 at 2:24 pm

i have spoken to him at length on several occasions
i really feel sorry for him
past voice article iterated past problems and loss of his family and anger issues
he is still angry
i am not sure he has done anything so terrible
but he is at risk to do so
he needs help and not just judicial intercession
but this cannot be forced - the individual has to cooperate
hard to solve
he is now a caricature and henceforth will be viewed as such by the police
hoping for more compassion and understanding


Posted by mr Nice, a resident of Bailey Park
on Nov 19, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Mike, why don't you let him live in your home and feed and clothe him? I thought so another bleeding heart liberal all talk.


Posted by Waldo, a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Waldo is a registered user.

@ Angela Hey --- Thanks for your weblink to Histrionic Personality Disorder, which I read with interest, but don't think it's a good fit for Ideafarm. How about Grandiose Delusions? Web Link


Posted by Angela Hey, Mountain View Voice Blogger
on Nov 20, 2013 at 12:21 am

Angela Hey is a registered user.

@Waldo - another malady - Dunning-Kruger effect may also be applicable - Web Link


Posted by Waldo, a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 20, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Waldo is a registered user.

@ Angela Hey --- Agreed. In any case, Ideafarm is his own worst enemy.


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2014 at 8:20 pm

You should identify this guy by his real name, Jon Duringer. Being allowed to use a fake name in a report of a court hearing is ridiculous.


Posted by Greg David, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 25, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

This is all a waste of time and taxpayer money, but I will defend to the death Mr. Ideafarm's right to due process and a trial by a jury of his peers. The real issue here is why they are pursuing prosecution. This nut job needs help, not jail time.


Posted by Eat your soup, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 26, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Mr Prosecutor, YOU asked for this. Don't feign exasperation now that you need to deal with it.
Did you REALLY think this was worth your time? Silly ego driven nonsense.


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