Money was not a motive in the slaying of a wealthy San Juan Capistrano couple who were shot, allegedly by their 19-year-old son, Orange County prosecutors said.
Ashton Sachs is accused of killing his parents as they were sleeping and then shooting his 8-year-old brother, who survived but was left paralyzed in the Feb. 9 incident.
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 was arrested late last week while staying with friends in San Diego. He is being held without bail.
Ebrahim Baytieh, a prosecutor with the Orange County district attorney's office, said that Sachs purchased the gun used in the crime and had planned the shooting "for a long period of time."
The prosecutor declined to discuss a possible motive in the case, but said it was not financial gain.
"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.
Bradford Hans Sachs, 57, and Andra Resa Sachs, 54, were described by residents in the upscale neighborhood as being friendly. Though long divorced, the couple remained together while they raised five children, neighbors 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