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Son had long planned to kill his family, D.A. says

March 10, 2014|By Adolfo Flores | This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
  • Booking photo of Ashton Sachs.
Booking photo of Ashton Sachs. (Orange County District…)

A 19-year-old charged with fatally shooting his parents and critically injuring his 8-year-old brother while they slept in their San Juan Capistrano home had long planned to “kill the people that loved him the most,” an Orange County prosecutor said Monday.

Dressed in a jail-issued orange jumpsuit, Ashton Sachs appeared in court briefly Monday, and told the judge he could not afford to hire an attorney.

A public defender was appointed and his arraignment was postponed to April 4.

Sachs is accused of entering his family home on Feb. 9 and shooting his parents, Bradford Hans Sachs, 57, and Andra Resa Sachs, 54, and then shooting his 8-year-old brother, who survived but is now paralyzed.

Authorities said that Sachs, who was living in Seattle at the time of the alleged crime, also fired a gun at one of his sisters, but missed.

Sachs was arrested late last week while staying with friends in San Diego.

Ebrahim Baytieh, a prosecutor with the Orange County District Attorney’s office, said the motive behind the killing was not financial, but declined to go into specifics.

Baytieh said that Sachs purchased the gun used in the crime and had planned out the shooting “for a long period of time.”

“This is a horrendous crime involving an adult man that decided to murder and kill the people that loved him the most and the people that were supporting him,” he said.

Ashton Sachs faces two counts of murder with special circumstances for multiple murders and two counts of attempted murder with premeditation and deliberation, prosecutors said.

He also faces sentencing enhancements for personal use of a firearm causing death, as well as personal use of a firearm causing bodily injury and paralysis.

If convicted he faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole and is eligible for the death penalty. Judge Craig Robison ordered that Ashton Sachs be held without bail.

Andra Sachs’ sister was present in court, but declined to comment on the case.

[For the Record 4:29 p.m. PST March. 10: An earlier version of this post said Ashton Sachs was not appointed a public defender. He was appointed a public defender at the hearing.]

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Adolfo.flores@latimes.com

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