Orange double homicide case for Brittany Smith delayed

  • Submitted photo Joanna Fisher and Thomas A. Harty.

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic PoliA baby pumpkin sits on the mailbox at 581 East River St. in Orange and flowers sit at the mailbox's base and at the front door on Thursday. Resident Thomas Harty, 95, was killed in a home invasion last week and his wife, 77-year-old Joanna Fisher, was seriously wounded. Fisher was transported to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester for treatment of throat wounds.

  • Brittany Smith

Recorder Staff
Monday, April 23, 2018

GREENFIELD — The trial for defendant Brittany Smith in the double homicide case has been delayed in Franklin County Superior Court because of an existing case in court.

Jury selection was scheduled begin Monday morning for the trial for Smith, 29, of Athol who has pleaded not guilty in the murder of Thomas Harty, 95, and the fatal wounding of his wife, Joanna Fisher, 77, during an Oct. 5, 2016 invasion of their 581 East River St. home in Orange.

The prosecution hopes the jury selection will begin Wednesday, Northwestern District Attorney spokeswoman Mary Carey said.

Earlier this month, co-defendant Joshua Hart, 25, of Athol was convicted on two counts of first degree murder in the 2016 double homicide of an elderly Orange couple. Hart faces a mandatory minimum sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Hart and Smith are being tried separately in the double homicide case.

Last week, Smith’s lawyer, Mary Ann Stamm, requested a change in venue and limits on courtroom use of photos of victims’ bodies. Stamm objected to certain aspects of Hart’s trial before Judge John Agostini, who is presiding over the Superior Court case in the Franklin County Justice Center. Agostini has yet to rule on those motions.

You can reach Joshua Solomon at: jsolomon@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 264.