SANTA ANA, Calif. — A man pleaded guilty to murder Tuesday in the shooting death of his parents as they slept and the attempted killing of his 8-year-old brother, who was left paralyzed in a crime that shocked an upscale Southern California community.
Ashton Sachs, 22, entered his pleas to the charges in a Santa Ana court. He will face up to life in prison at his sentencing Oct. 14. Sachs was 19 when prosecutors say he drove from his college in Seattle to his family’s luxury home in San Juan Capistrano in February 2014.
Under the cover of darkness, prosecutors say Sachs shot and killed his parents, Bradford Sachs, 57, and Andra Sachs, 54, as they slept before shooting his little brother and firing at his 17-year-old sister, who wasn’t hit.
The boy was paralyzed. A 15-year-old sister who was at the home wasn’t hurt.
Sachs was arrested a month later after an intensive investigation. Detectives told the Orange County Register that Sachs said he didn’t trust his parents and that they had made him feel bad by favoring his siblings.
Sachs had stopped going to school and was spending time smoking marijuana and playing video games, he told police.
Authorities said Sachs’ original plan was to kill his parents and then shoot himself and that it was unclear why he decided to target his siblings.
Bradford and Andra Sachs filed for divorce more than a decade before they were killed but continued to live and conduct business together. Over the years, they faced a number of lawsuits related to their business dealings, the newspaper reported.