Hearing postponed in 2016 Orange murders ***updated***


The hearing that was to have taken place in Berkshire Superior Court,  Feb. 8,  in connection with the murders of Thomas Harty and Joanna Fisher, has been postponed until March 2 at 9 a.m. in Franklin Superior Court. ****Please note change of venue from Berkshire Superior Court.***

Joshua Hart, 25  and Brittany Smith, 29, both of Athol, face multiple charges in the Oct. 5, 2016 home invasion at 581 East River St. in Orange that claimed the life of Harty, 95, and, a month later, his wife Joanna Fisher, 77.

Hart and Smith are expected to be tried separately in Franklin Superior Court, in April.

The combined charges both face include:

  • Two counts of 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

The two also face charges in connection with earlier incidents, including Breaking and Entering and Larceny over $250.

If convicted of murder in the first degree, the defendants face a mandatory sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.