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Orange home invasion, murder suspects held without bail

The pair pleaded not guilty to entering a home in Orange and killing a 95-year-old man along with injuring his 77-year-old wife.

Brittany Smith, left, and Joshua Hart.

Northwestern District Attorney's Office

Two peopleaccused of killing a 95-year-old man and injuring his 77-year-old wife during a home invasion in Orange earlier this month were ordered held without bail Friday, according to the Northwestern District Attorney's office.

Joshua Hart, 23, and Brittany Smith, 27, were arraigned in Orange District Court. They both pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, attempted murder, home invasion armed robbery, conspiracy and larceny, according to the DA's office.

Orange police responded to a call at ab out 9:15 a.m. on Oct. 6 about a home invasion on Main Street that occurred the night before. Officials say the two suspects entered the home through a door off of the garage and immediately attacked the victims, Thomas Harty , 95, and Joanna Fisher, 77.

Officials said that both Harty and Fisher were beaten and stabbed during the home invasion and thatthe ordeal lasted approximately two hours.

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Harty died in the home after sufferingstab wounds and being suffocated with a pillow, according to the DA's office. Once found the next morning by scheduled health care workers, Fisher, who is wheelchair-bound, was taken to University of Massachusetts Worcester Hospital.

Following the attacks, the suspects allegedly ransacked the home, taking credit and debit cards and the key to the victims' Toyota Corolla station wagon, which they used to flee the scene.

On Oct. 8, the Rockbridge County Sheriffs' Department in Virginia located and arrested Hart and Smith.

Officials said that Hart and Smith admitted to police that they were looking to steal a vehicle and enough money to escape the area. Hart was allegedly avoiding jail and Smithwas allegedly avoiding drug treatment, according to the DA's office.

They are due back in court on Dec. 20.

 
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