Jury indicts suspects in deadly home invasion in Orange

Hart and Smith could face life in prison if convicted of murder in the first degree

ORANGE, Mass. (WWLP) – A Franklin Superior Court Grand Jury indicted the two suspects in the deadly home invasion in Orange in October, last Friday.

According to Mary Carey of the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, 24-year-old Joshua Hart and 27-year-old Brittany Smith, both of Athol, are facing murder and other charges in connection with the October 5th home invasion on East River Street.

95-year-old Thomas Harty was killed during the home invasion and his wife, 77-year-old Joanna Fisher, was critically wounded. Fisher has since died; Carey said the medical examiner’s officer is still looking into her cause of death.

Carey said Hart and Smith are scheduled to be arraigned in Franklin Superior Court on January 5th. They both face the following charges:

  • Murder
  • Attempted Murder
  • Two Counts of Home Invasion, one naming each victim
  • Two Counts of Armed Robbery, one naming each victim
  • Conspiracy
  • Larceny over $250
  • Larceny of a Motor Vehicle
  • Receiving Stolen Property
  • Unauthorized Use of a Credit Card

If Hart and Smith are convicted of murder in the first degree, they face a mandatory sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole, Carey said.

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