Man Sentenced After Killing His Parents And Attempting To Kill His Siblings
Ashton Sachs, 22, was ordered on Friday to spend the rest of his life in jail after he last month pleaded guilty to the murder of his parents and attempted murder of two of his siblings, CBS News reports. When Sachs was originally charged with Andra and Brad Sachs’s highly publicized deaths in 2014, he maintained his innocence for years; his recent plea change marked another shocking twist in an already-shocking case.
Andra and Brad Sachs were real estate and technology moguls who lived in a multi-million-dollar San Juan Capistrano, California, home with their three other children Landon, 8, Lana, 9, and Alexis, 17. Ashton, who was 19 at the time, and his older brother Myles, now 23, were both living in Washington to attend college and manage one of their parents’ properties there.
Originally, both Myles and Sachs provided alibis — and a list of angry former business partners who might’ve had motive to commit the crime — for the night of February 9, 2014, but soon after the murders, authorities found a military-style assault rifle in the trunk of Sachs’s car, leading them to name Sachs as the main suspect in the case. They eventually determined he’d driven 18 hours through the night to his parents’ home, snuck into the house wearing a beanie and gloves at 2 a.m., and shot them each at least 10 times in the face and body. Some of the shots were taken at point-blank range, the OC Register reports.
After shooting his parents, Sachs moved on to his siblings. He did not shoot at Lana, who was on a different floor, but he shot at Alexis, who remained unharmed because he missed. He shot Landon in the spine — the boy is now permanently paralyzed. Sachs was back at his home in Washington by the time he and Myles got the noon call that their parents had been killed.
Days later, Sachs spoke “beautifully” at the funeral, according to CBS, saying “I really do believe that both their energy is alive and they will continue to guide me throughout life. As a kid I just always thought ‘I have pretty awesome parents,’ I don’t know how or why to sum up how they were perfect parents other than that everything they did was always for their children.” When he was arrested, he countered all the things he’d said during the eulogy, telling investigators he was angry at his parents for not taking a previous suicide attempt of his seriously and because he believed he was their least favorite child. At that time, he was still maintaining his innocence.
It’s unclear what happened last month that prompted Sachs to change his mind, but he called an unexpected hearing in which he changed his plea to guilty to his charges of special-circumstances murder and attempted murder. When asked by the judge if he understood the rights he was giving up and that he would never be released from prison, Sachs responded: “Yes, I do.”
According to the OC Register, pleading guilty to special-circumstances murder mandates life in prison without the possibility of parole. Sachs was sentenced to four lifetimes in jail (two of which are without the possibility of parole) and an additional 100 years for the use of his firearm. He has since shown little emotion (prosecutors alleged in court he is a sociopath) or offered any more explanation as to why he committed the crimes.
48 Hours reports none of Sachs’s siblings attended the sentencing, but his aunt on his father’s side Lisa McGowan did and she spoke to the courtroom and addressed Sachs directly: “I am told by friends and family to forgive you … Here’s my choice: I can’t forgive you.”