2 arrested in connection with fatal Orange home invasion

ORANGE, MA (WHDH) - Two murder suspects were arrested in Lexington, Virginia and charged in connection with a home invasion in Orange last week that left an elderly man dead and his wife severely injured.

The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office said 23-year-old Joshua Hart and 27-year-old Brittany Smith were being held without bail. Both will be officially charged when they arrive back in Massachusetts.

Hart and Smith were found inside of a U-Haul truck parked outside a Walmart in Lexington.

Police said Thomas Hardy, 95, was found dead inside his house on East River Street. His wife, 77-year-old Joanna Fisher, remains hospitalized. The couple’s stolen Toyota Corolla station wagon was also recovered in Virginia. A motive for the crime is unknown.

“I hope he gets what he deserves,” said Hart’s former landlord, Tiffany Wilder. Hart lived in a basement apartment in Athol before he was allegedly kicked out by his girlfriend two weeks ago. Wilder’s daughter Stephanie told 7News that Hart is a “big time” drug addict.

Police said Hart and Smith were both arrested in Orange three days before Hardy was killed. Police said the two were charged with stealing a car that was later found in Fitchburg.

Hart and Smith are due in court in Virginia on Wednesday.

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