Couple Charged in Deadly Home Invasion Allegedly Stole Car to Buy Heroin | NECN
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Couple Charged in Deadly Home Invasion Allegedly Stole Car to Buy Heroin

Joshua Hart and Brittany Smith were arrested in Virginia over the weekend for the murder of Thomas Harty of Orange

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Joshua Hart and Brittany Smith are being arraigned as fugitives from justice Tuesday in Virginia; they are accused in a home invasion in Orange, Massachusetts, that left 95-year-old Thomas Harty dead and his 77-year-old paralyzed wife, Joanna Fisher, badly injured. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016)

    Two people are being arraigned in Virginia Tuesday after allegedly killing an elderly man and badly injuring his paralyzed wife last week in Orange, Massachusetts.

    Authorities captured 23-year-old Joshua Hart and 27-year-old Brittany Smith, both of Athol, Massachusetts, in Virginia Sunday. They are accused of breaking into a home, murdering 95-year-old Thomas Harty and leaving his 77-year-old wife, Joanna Fisher, seriously hurt. The family of the victims says they were stabbed.

    Fisher, who is paralyzed from a stroke, had to wait hours for help until a nurse arrived in the morning.

    Hart and Smith are no strangers to police. Court documents show they were arrested Oct. 2, just days before the deadly home invasion. Smith allegedly took her great grandmother's car from the King James Court Apartments and picked up Hart to buy heroin.

    Smith was freed on personal recognizance. Hart had a warrant out of Pennsylvania and was held on bail. He was released Oct. 3.

    Two days later, Harty was dead.

    "He was on a downward spiral," Theodore Kelley, the victims' nephew, said of Hart. "They should have kept him in jail."

    Court paperwork alleges Smith took her great grandmother's car from the King James Court Apartments and picked up Hart to buy heroin.

    "Why did they have to do what they did to them?" asked the victims' niece, Noreen Mascroft. "He would have given them the money, you know? There was no need to kill him and do what they did to Joanne, it's just plain horrible."

    Despite the victims ages, they remained very active in the community and were known for their love of hiking.

    "Always try to help everybody, he'd do anything, he did a lot of hiking," remembered Harty's brother, John. "He climbed the Grand Canyon every year."

    Hart and Smith are being held without bail and are expected to be arraigned on fugitive from justice warrants in Virginia on Tuesday.

    If they waive rendition, they could be back in Massachusetts to face charges as early as Thursday.

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