Suspects in fatal Orange home invasion held without bail

ORANGE, MA (WHDH) - Two suspects accused of murdering a man and injuring his wife during a violent home invasion are being held without bail.

Brittany Smith, 27, and Joshua Hart, 23, both pleaded not guilty to the charges Friday. They are accused of stabbing and suffocating 95-year-old Thomas Hardy and stabbing 77-year-old Joanna Fisher at their Orange house last week. They then allegedly stole Hardy’s car, along with credit cards and cash, and took off. They were found in a Walmart parking lot in Virginia days later.

“I’ve never seen anything so senseless and brutal,” said Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan.

Police said Smith and Hart admitted to the crime. They were allegedly hoping to leave Massachusetts and start a new life together in order to avoid jail and drug treatment for another arrest. Prosecutors said they chose Hardy’s house at random because they were looking to steal an older car that could not be tracked by police.

Sullivan said Smith and Hart terrorized Hardy and Fisher for two hours. The DA said Fisher, who uses a wheelchair, played dead after her throat was slashed and was found 15 hours later by her caretaker. She remains hospitalized.

“Family wants to move forward and hope they can be brought to justice,” said Fisher’s son, Larry Fisher.

Fisher was unable to call for help because the suspects allegedly cut the house’s phone lines.

The suspects’ attorneys refused to comment outside the courthouse.

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