Ashton Colby Sachs, Alleged Killer of Parents, Paralyzed Brother and Tried to Shoot Sister: DA
See Update No. 2 one Page 2 with the charges against Ashton Sachs and details on other family members the DA says he targeted. Update No. 1 on the next page identifies Sachs as the only suspect in his parents' murders.
Andra and Bradford Sachs, R.I.P.
ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 7, 12:47 P.M.: The 19-year-old son of a divorced couple found dead in their San Juan Capistrano home in the early morning hours of Feb. 9 is behind bars today in connection with the fatal shootings, according to a broadcast report.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department had previously announced Sheriff Sandra Hutchens and investigators into the double homicide "will announce updated information" at 1 p.m. today in Santa Ana.
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But KNBC4 reports today that Ashton Sachs was arrested Thursday after being questioned by sheriff's investigators.
An "unknown trouble" call to dispatchers shortly before 2 a.m. Feb. 9 led to a hillside home in the 32000 block of Peppertree Bend and the discovery of two bodies. Neighbors identified them as Brad and Andra Sachs, a divorced couple who still resided together in the home. Authorities later confirmed it was Bradford Hans Sachs, 57, and his ex-wife, Andra Resa Sachs, 54.
The couple's 8-year-old son was taken to Mission Hospital from the 9,600-square-foot home for treatment of serious injuries. The couple's high school-age teen daughters were home when first responders arrived, but they were unharmed and one of them may have placed the initial 9-1-1 call. The Sachs' two sons were said at the time to be away at college.
The double homicide spooked the upscale neighborhood, but while sheriff's officials said the deaths did not appear to be part of a murder-suicide they believed the violence was confined to the home and nearby residents were not in danger.
A security code was needed to enter the Sachs' home, but there were no signs of forced entry, officials added.
UPDATE NO. 1, MARCH 7, 1:19 P.M.: Orange County sheriff's homicide investigators worked the San Juan Capistrano double homicide case hard since the bodies were discovered, but it became clear quite early that Ashton Colby Sachs was the lone suspect in the fatal shootings of his parents, according to the lead investigator.
Sheriff Sandra Hutchens is so confident of that she introduced Agent Justin Montano at a just-concluded press conference by saying he would discuss "the successful conclusion" of the murder case. Montano would go on to qualify that this is an ongoing investigation and Sachs "is the only suspect right now."
Sachs, who had been living in Seattle, was interviewed at the home of relatives in San Diego County and later the sheriff's office Orange County, where he was placed under arrest, Montano said.
A weapon has been recovered, the investigator added, but a motive remains unknown.
The young man is being held without bail in Orange County Jail on murder charges, according to sheriff's officials.
He "was not residing at the residence on Peppertree Bend at the time of the murder," reads a statement from the agency. "Ashton is a college student in the state of Washington and has resided in the Seattle area since the fall of 2013."
Sachs is due in court Monday.
UPDATE NO. 2, MARCH 7, 2:57 P.M.: In a statement on the charges against Ashton Colby Sachs in the murders of his parents, the Orange County District Attorney's office alleges the 19-year-old also shot and paralyzed his younger brother and shot at but missed one of his teen-age sisters.
The OCDA also reveals Sachs is eligible for the death penalty.
He came down to San Juan Capistrano from Seattle, where he was attending college, "with the intention of murdering his family," allege prosecutors.
Sachs was packing a firearm when he entered the home in the early morning hours of Feb. 9, walked into his sleeping parents' bedroom and shot and murdered them, the OCDA claims.
Next, Sachs entered the bedroom of his 8-year-old brother and shot and attempted to murder him, says the DA's office, which notes the boy "survived but was paralyzed by the shooting."
Sachs is accused of firing the gun at one of his two sisters to try to murder her, but the 17-year-old girl was not hit, note prosecutors, who add Sachs fled the scene and returned to Seattle, where he attended North Seattle Community College.
He is charged with two felony counts of special circumstances murder for multiple murders, two felony counts of attempted murder with premeditation and deliberation, and sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a firearm causing death, personal use of a firearm causing bodily injury, and causing paralysis.
If convicted, he faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole, says the OCDA, which adds Sachs "is eligible for the death penalty."
He is being held without bail pending an arraignment hearing Monday morning in Santa Ana.
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