Andrea and Brad Sachs were two business moguls who had made it big in the technology industry before setting their sights on real estate. Together they shared a multi-million dollar estate with three of their five children. Their two eldest sons – Myles and Ashton – had been living in Washington state. Myles had been attending college and managing one of his parents’ properties there, while Ashton spent his days playing video games and smoking pot after a tumultuous breakup and his subsequent suicide attempt.
Though their lives may not have been as perfect as they would want outsiders to believe, the Sachs’ loved their children, and even after divorcing, were willing to push their differences aside and continue to live their lives as the tight-knit clan they always were. In January of 2015, Andrea decided to move Brad and the rest of her clan into a smaller $1m estate in the San Diego area. A little over two weeks after the paperwork had been signed, the couple would be dead, and their 8-year-old son Landon would be paralyzed after catching a bullet in his spine.
Police initially questioned Myles and Ashton on their whereabouts on the night of February 9, 2015. They were both able to provide alibis, as well as a list of former business partners who would have wanted to see the Sachses dead. Two days later, Ashton Sachs would stand up and give a heartfelt eulogy at his parents’ funerals. According to a report from CBS, Ashton stated:
“I really do believe that both their energy is alive and they will continue to guide me throughout life. 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.”
As Ashton shed tears for his murdered parents and over the hospital bed of his younger brother, who doctors predicted would be paralyzed for the rest of his life, his alibi was quickly becoming unraveled. Inside the trunk of the Prius Ashton’s mother had recently purchased for him, investigators found a .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle – the same style of weapon that had been used to murder the Sachses.
Ashton was detained for further questioning in March of 2015. While under interrogation, Ashton broke down and confessed that he had been responsible for his parents’ murder, as well as the life-long injuries sustained by his youngest sibling.
According to Sach, he had driven from Washington to the family’s Orange County home and waited. Clad in all black, he broke into the family’s home on Peppertree Bend and paced the halls for 10 to 15 minutes before opening fire. Sach shot his parents each nearly a dozen times as they slept in their beds. He also shot into the room of his sister Alexis, who narrowly missed being hit. Young Landon was not as lucky, he was hit in the spine during the shooting spree. Sachs’ other sister Lana was able to escape the attack because she had been sleeping on another floor that night.
Sachs says his original plan was to kill himself after the attack, but he made no such attempt. Instead, he then drove to the parking lot of a company his mother owned and called a cab to take him to the airport. From there, Sachs flew back to Seattle and called a company to have his Prius picked up and transported back to Seattle. It was through this company, which had still been holding the vehicle for Sachs, that investigators were able to search through the Prius and find the murder weapon.
Though there has never been a clear motive for the shooting spree, Sachs claims there was a lot going on in his life. According to investigators, Sachs told them that he had felt like the black sheep of the family and had felt that his parents didn’t take his suicide attempt seriously. During a preliminary hearing, one investigator speculated that Sachs had been somewhat of a spoiled brat, who was mad at his parents for pushing him to do something other than smoke pot and play video games all day. There was also speculation that Sachs had possibly been threatened that his mother would cut him off financially if he did not at least find a part-time job.
Sachs initially maintained his innocence until two months before his trial was set, when he changed his plea to guilty. Sach was sentenced to four life sentences without parole, with an additional 100 years for the use of his firearm.
Myles Sachs has since dropped out of college and has taken custody of his much younger siblings. While it is unclear on whether or not the surviving Sachs family will ever be able to forgive Ashton for the brutal slaying of their parents and the permanent paralysis of Landon, they are leaning on one another to draw strength and to move past these devastating circumstances.