Ashton Sachs, 22, was sentenced to four lifetimes in prison Friday for brutally murdering his parents and attempting to kill two of his siblings despite maintaining his innocence for the last several years. He finally pleaded guilty to the 2014 murders last month.
Andra and Brad Sachs were real estate and technology professionals who lived in a multi-million-dollar house in San Juan Capistrano, California. They lived with their three children, Landon, 8, Lana, 9, and Alexis, 17. At the time of their deaths, Ashton was just 19 years old. He lived with his older brother Myles (who is now 23) in Washington and planned to attend college while managing one of their parents’ properties in the state.
On the night of February 9, 2014, Andra and Brad Sachs were found shot to death in their home. Myles and Ashton both provided authorities with alibis — along with a list of bitter business partners who might be responsible for their murders — but police named Ashton the prime suspect after finding a military-style assault rifle in the trunk of his car. It was eventually determined that Ashton drove 18 hours to get to his parent’s California home, snuck inside at 2 a.m. wearing a beanie and gloves, and shot them each 10 times in the face and body, several of which were made at point-blank range.
Afterwards, Ashton moved onto his siblings. First he shot Alexis, who he managed to miss. He then shot Landon in the spine, who is now permanently paralyzed. Lana was on a different floor and therefore spared the violence. Ashton was back in Washington by noon, the same time police called the boys to report their parents’ death.
Several days later, a funeral for Andra and Brad was held, and Ashton “beautifully” commemorated his parents. “I really do believe that both their energy is alive and they will continue to guide me throughout life,” he told attendees. “As a kid I just always thought ‘I have pretty awesome parents,’ I don’t know how or why to sum up how they were perfect parents other than that everything they did was always for their children.”
When he was finally arrested, Ashton told police a very different story; he was was angry at his parents for not taking a previous suicide attempt seriously and believed he was their least favorite child. However, despite the harsh words, Ashton maintained his innocence in the case. But for some reason, Ashton decided to confess to the crime last month without explanation. He called an unexpected hearing and changed his plea to guilty to his charges of special-circumstances murder and attempted murder. He was sentenced to four lifetimes in jail and an additional 100 years for the use of his firearm.
Since the case stated, he has offered little emotion and no explanation for the crimes, giving reason for prosecutors to allege that he is a sociopath. According to 48 Hours, none of Ashton’s siblings attended the sentencing, but one of his aunts did. Brad’s sister Lisa McGowan addressed Ashton directly in court: “I am told by friends and family to forgive you … Here’s my choice: I can’t forgive you.”
He claims that while the murders took place, he “couldn’t even remember” that night, explaining, “it was just a rush… I was not myself. I don’t know. I was something twisted.” He had also stopped going to school prior to the murder, and spent the majority of his time smoking weed and playing video games, the Daily Mail reports.
“When you look into it and peel the onion of this case, it comes down to his resentment of his parents, his resentment of his brothers, and … that’s what drove him to commit these murders,” case agent Justin Montano told CBS News. But we may never know for sure.