Ashton Sachs, the man authorities believe responsible for killing his parents in San Juan Capistrano, has been indicted this week for multiple murders, the Orange County District Attorney's office announced today.
Sachs, 19, will be in court Thursday to enter a plea to 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 of his 8-year-old brother.
Bradford Hans Sachs, 57, and his ex-wife, Andra Resa Sachs, 54, were found dead around 2 a.m. Feb. 9 inside their home in the 32000 block of Peppertree Bend. Their 8-year-old son was wounded and is reportedly still hospitalized.
Two teenage girls were present in the residence at the time of the shooting, but were unharmed. The couple had five children.
The Orange County Grand Jury indicted Sachs Monday The indictment was sought by the Orange County District Attorney and supersedes the previously-filed case.
If convicted, Ashton Sachs faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole and is eligible for the death penalty. He is being held without bail.
On March 7, the Orange County District Attorney released a press release with the following information on the case:
At the time of the crime, Ashton Sachs was living in Seattle. He is accused of returning to Orange County with the intention of murdering his family. In the early morning hours of Feb. 9, Sachs is accused of entering his family’s San Juan Capistrano home armed with a firearm.
He is accused of entering his parents’ bedroom and shooting and murdering his 54-year-old mother Andra Sachs and 57-year-old father Bradford Sachs as they slept.
The defendant is accused of entering the bedroom of his 8-year-old brother and shooting and attempting to murder the victim. The 8-year-old boy survived but was paralyzed by the shooting.
Two of Ashton Sachs’ sisters were also in the home at the time of the crime. Ashton Sachs is accused of shooting at and attempting to murder his 17-year-old sister, but this victim was not hit.
Ashton Sachs is accused of fleeing the scene and returning to Seattle. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigated this case and arrested the defendant March 6, 2014.
The investigation is ongoing. Assistant District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh is prosecuting this case.
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.
The prosecutor previously said the defendant's parents had been"supportive" of their son. But Orange County Superior Court records pertaining to the couple's divorce in 2000 shed a little light about some of the rancor between the two that also involved their three biological children. Their 8-year-old son and another daughter were adopted later.
Brad Sachs was arrested by Newport Beach police in March 2000 following a custody exchange of the couple's children Myles, Ashton and Alexis. Myles was 8 at the time, the defendant was 6, and Alexis was 3.
Andra Sachs requested a restraining order, alleging her then-estranged husband assaulted her as he was picking up the three children for visitation, according to court records. She alleged he opened a car door that slammed into her stomach before his vehicle collided with hers.
As Andra Sachs went to check on the children in her car, she alleged their father "came after me and threw me onto the pavement, where I hit my head and, for a brief moment, blacked out. I received injuries to my head, left thigh, knee and ankle."
Andra Sachs also alleged that her husband had introduced his girlfriend to the three children a week after he moved out.
Their son, Myles, "told me that, 'I saw Daddy sexing Sheri,"' Andra Sachs said in the restraining order declaration. "Myles has also told me he has seen Daddy and Sheri naked."
On March 28, 2000, a judge issued an order prohibiting the father's girlfriend from staying over during visitations with the children. Custody exchanges were to be done at a neutral location and the couple was ordered to enroll in parenting and anger management classes as well as participate in individual therapy, according to court records.
There are no other records of discord between the two in the divorce.
City News Service contributed to this report.