Orange homicide suspects arrested in Virginia

Both suspects are being held without the right to bail

orange-slaying-suspects Joshua Hart Brittany Smith
Police booking photos of Joshua Hart and Brittany Smith, suspects in the home invasion killing of 95 year-old Thomas Harty. Images Courtesy: Orange Police Department

ORANGE, Mass. (WWLP) – Two arrests have been made in connection to Wednesday’s deadly home invasion in Orange.

The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office told 22News that 23 year old Joshua Hart and 27 year old Brittany Smith of Athol were arrested in Rockbridge County, Virginia. Deputies arrested them on Massachusetts larceny of a motor vehicle and receiving stolen property arrest warrants.

Courtesy of the Orange Police
Courtesy of the Orange Police

Here in Massachusetts, they will be charged with murder, attempted murder, home invasion, armed robbery, larceny over $250, larceny of a motor vehicle, receiving stolen property and conspiracy. Both are being held in Virginia without the right to bail. They are scheduled to have fugitive from justice arraignments Tuesday in Virginia, and then, depending on whether they wave rendition, they could be back in Massachusetts as early as Thursday, said the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office.

Related: Deadly home invasion investigated in Orange

According to the Greenfield Recorder, both Brittany Smith and Joshua Hart had been arrested on Monday October 3; just two days before the home invasion and murder.

Hart and Smith allegedly forced their way into 581 East River Street Wednesday night and killed 95 year old Thomas Harty. His wife, 77 year old Joanna Fisher was critically wounded. Fisher is still recovering at UMass Medical Center in Worcester.

According to the Rockbridge County Sheriff’s Department, they received word from Massachusetts investigators on Friday that Hart and Smith, who had been identified as the suspects, may be in their area. They sent out deputies around the area to find places in which they might be hiding.

Early on Saturday morning, deputies say they found Hart and Smith inside a U-Haul truck parked outside the Walmart in Lexington, Virginia. They were taken into custody.

Meanwhile, the victims’ car was found in Augusta County, Virginia, which is located just to the northeast of Rockbridge County.

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