Ashton Colby Sachs, the emotionally troubled 22-year-old who slaughtered his parents, left his 8-year-old brother paralyzed and also tried to kill his 17-year-old sister in their upscale San Juan Capistrano home, was sentenced today to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.
Sachs pleaded guilty on Sept. 20 to two felony counts of special circumstances murder for committing 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.
Technically, Sachs was sentenced by Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregg L. Prickett to consecutively serve two life terms without parole, two life terms, three indeterminate terms of 25 years to life, and 30 determinate years in state prison.
Prickett had earlier advised Sachs against representing himself in court, even as the defendant agreed to the guilty pleas without a hearing having been set by the judge.
Blaming his parents for depression he was suffering, of ignoring his suicide attempts and of neglecting him in favor of his younger siblings, then-19-year-old Sachs arrived unannounced from the Seattle area, where he was attending college, in the early morning hours of Feb. 9, 2014, to his family’s $3.7 million hillside pad on Peppertree Bend.
He went into his parents' bedroom and fatally shot his 54-year-old mother Andra Sachs and 57-year-old father Bradford Sachs as they slept. The teen then went into the bedroom of his then-7-year-old brother Landon, who was shot and left paralyzed from the waist down.
Two of Ashton Sachs' sisters were home at the time, and he tried to shoot 17-year-old Alexis but missed. He then fled the scene and drove back up to the Pacific Northwest.
Because the killer was unknown shortly after the slayings, neighbors in San Juan Capistrano feared for their own safety. There were also theories early in the case that tenants or business associates of the deceased may have been to blame.
However, sheriff's investigators eventually honed in on Sachs, who was arrested on March 6, 2014.