Life sentences for two convicted in deadly Orange home invasion


Two people were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murders of an elderly couple in Orange.

The two people at the center of this case, the victims, brought in dozens of family members. They were parents, grandparents and great-grandparents who were brutally murdered with no explanation as to why.

After grueling, emotional victim impact statements read by children, nephews, and grandchildren of the victims, Thomas Harty and Joanna Fisher, a judge ordered Brittany Smith and Joshua Hart both to life in prison without the possibility for parole.

On October 5 2016, Hart and Smith burst into Harty and Fisher's home on a quiet street in Orange, where they repeatedly stabbed and suffocated Harty, and pushed Fisher from her wheelchair, then she was beat and stabbed.

They stole the couple's car and credit cards.

Harty was killed that night and Fisher died five weeks later from her injuries.

She was found alive the morning after the home invasion, by her visiting nurse.

Hart and Smith were arrested two days after the murder in Virginia in a rented U-Haul after they abandoned the stolen car.

Both Smith and Hart remained stoic, staring straight ahead throughout the entirety of the sentencing on Thursday.

The only time Smith showed any emotion was when the son of Harty began to speak about Smith's two young children, referring to them as "two more innocent victims."

Family members for Smith declined to comment.

Some family members place more blame on Smith than they do on Hart, and on Thursday we learned why in an interview with an attorney for the commonwealth outside court after the sentencing.

"So, the things that Joanna Fisher told the family about what Miss Smith did to her, that she made statements like we need to get rid of her. The violence that Brittany Smith inflicted upon Miss Fisher those statements never saw the light of day in the court room," the attorney said.

In the victim impact statements, we learned that 95-year-old Harty had a goal of living until 106, that he was strong and active, and on his way to doing just that, hiking the Grand Canyon dozens of times and often, taking his relatives along with him.

He and his wife shared a love of hiking until Fisher ended up in a wheelchair.

The two were described by family members as the best of people, compared to Hart and Smith, who the family described as the worst of people. Western Mass News spoke to family members of the victims after the sentencing and they told us they were pleased with the sentences but that this has changed their lives forever.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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