Man Pleads Guilty to Shooting Rampage That Left Parents Dead and Brother, 8, Paralyzed
A California man pleaded guilty Tuesday to fatally shooting his parents as they slept in their sprawling mansion before trying to murder two of his siblings, leaving his then-8-year-old brother paralyzed.
Ashton Sachs was 19 years old when he scaled the wall of Bradford and Andra Sachs’ Ocean County estate and walked through the front door on February 9, 2014, court papers viewed by the Los Angeles Times said.
Rifle in hand, Sachs walked into his mother and father’s bedroom and began firing before moving on to his little brother and sister’s bedroom, authorities said.
Twenty-four bullet casings were recovered from the home.
Sachs reportedly walked back to his car and drove to his parents’ San Juan Capistrano business, where he took a cab to John Wayne Airport to fly back to his Seattle apartment.
He briefly attended college in The Emerald City, but Sachs mostly spent his days smoking marijuana, playing video games and resenting his parents, according to reports.
Sachs was running on four nights without sleep when he killed 57-year-old Bradford and 54-year-old Andra Sachs, whom he blamed for his lack of direction, he reportedly told investigators.
Sachs believed his parents — who were divorced but still lived and worked together — favored their four other children and hadn’t taken his previous attempt at suicide seriously, the Orange County Register reported.
Authorities said his original plan was to kill his parents and then himself, but it was unclear why he shifted his focus to his siblings.
Police arrested Sachs almost a month after the killing of his parents and attempted murders of his brother and sister, testifying they linked him to the carnage when they discovered he researched different degrees of murder and flights out of John Wayne Airport.
Sachs also made arrangements to have his car transported back to Seattle, detectives said. They later found the vehicle and a loaded rifle, court papers said.
Before his arrest, Sachs openly mourned his parents and sat vigil by his brother’s side, seeming to “genuinely grieve,” ex-girlfriend Sarah Verbeek told People.
After their parents’ murders, Sachs’ older brother, Myles Sachs, assumed the role of bread winner and caretaker for his siblings, fulfilling a promise made to his mother that he would step in should anything happen to her.
“I had a promise to keep and to do what’s right,” he told the Orange County Register. “I didn’t think about it. I just did it.”
Sachs will be sentenced on October 14, when he is expected to get life in prison without the possibility of parole.