Abraham Lincoln said, “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.” Fool Ashton Colby Sachs copped Tuesday to killing his parents, leaving his younger brother who he tried to kill paralyzed and trying to kill his sister.
According to an Orange County District Attorney's office statement released Tuesday afternoon, 22-year-old Sachs “pleaded guilty today at his request and without a previously scheduled hearing 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.”
Those counts stem from the bloodbath that rocked an upper crust area of San Juan Capistrano.
Sachs, then 19, arrived unannounced from the Pacific Northwest in the early morning hours of Feb. 9, 2014, went into his parents' bedroom in their $3.7 million hillside pad on Peppertree Bend and fatally shot his 54-year-old mother Andra Sachs and 57-year-old father Bradford Sachs as they slept.
Ashton 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 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 Seattle, where he was attending college.
After the killings/would-be killings—but before Sachs was a known suspect—he stayed with his distraught siblings at the home of a relative and looked with his older brother, who did not reside in the Peppertree Bend residence, at new possible digs for the brood in the San Diego area.
Sheriff's homicide detectives were initially told Andra and Bradford Sachs, who had divorced but remained living together, were involved in sour business and tenant dealings that may have been behind their murders.
But Ashton Saches was arrested on March 6, 2014.
Sachs, who'd planned the murders in Seattle before heading south, blamed his parents for depression he was suffering, of ignoring his suicide attempts and of neglecting him in favor of his younger siblings, according to grand jury transcripts.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregg L. Prickett warned Ashton Sachs against representing himself as he faced special circumstances murder and attempted-murder charges.
But Sachs ignored that advice before making the surprise plea.
Prickett is expected to sentence Sachs to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.
That's the same sentence the Orange County District Attorney's office sought after deciding against seeking the death penalty.
The hearing is set for Oct. 14 in Santa Ana.