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D.A.: Teen Planned Parents' Ambush over a Long Period of Time

The arraignment of Ashton Sachs on murder charges was postponed until July 21.

Ashton Sachs. Photo courtesy the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
Ashton Sachs. Photo courtesy the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Arraignment was postponed today for a 19-year-old college student who allegedly killed his parents and left his 8-year-old brother paralyzed in San Juan Capistrano.

Ashton Colby Sachs was charged in March with the murders of his parents and attempted murders of two of his siblings. But prosecutors took the case before a grand jury, which indicted the defendant on Monday on two counts of murder, with special circumstance allegations of multiple murders, and two counts of attempted murder with premeditation and deliberation.

He also faces sentence-enhancing allegations of personal use of a firearm causing death, personal use of a gun causing bodily injury and causing paralysis.

Sachs' arraignment was rescheduled for July 21.

Sachs is eligible for the death penalty if convicted, and at a minimum would face life in prison without the possibility of parole. An indictment helps to legally fast-track a case since prosecutors no longer have to get to trial through a preliminary hearing.

Bradford Hans Sachs, 57, and his ex-wife, Andra Resa Sachs, 54, were found dead and their 8-year-old son wounded about 2 a.m. Feb. 9 inside their home in the 32000 block of Peppertree Bend.

Two daughters were in the residence, but they were unable to identify the killer the night of the shootings, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh. One of the attempted murder counts involves Sachs' 17- year-old sister, whom he allegedly fired on, but missed, Baytieh said.

The parents' business background complicated the investigation, according to Justin Montano, the primary detective on the case. The couple had extensive real estate holdings, and investigators early on looked into whether their deaths were related to their business dealings, he said.

Phone records, witness statements and other evidence ultimately pointed to the defendant, Baytieh said.

The prosecutor alleged that Sachs appeared to have planned the ambush over a long period of time. The North Seattle Community College student purchased the alleged murder weapon, which investigators recovered, according to Baytieh.

--City News Service


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