Hearing in Orange murder case moved to Franklin Superior Court

  • The Franklin County Justice Center in Greenfield, MA.April 5, 2017. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

Recorder Staff
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

GREENFIELD — The hearing in connection to the deaths of Thomas Harty, 95, and his wife Joanna Fisher, 77, has been moved back to Franklin Superior Court. 

The hearing, a motion made by defense attorney to suppress information, will now be Friday, March 2, at 2 p.m. in Greenfield before Judge John Agostini. 

It had been scheduled for Berkshire Superior Court in Pittsfield, before Agostini, on the same day. 

Brittany Smith, 29, and Joshua Hart, 25 have been accused of killing Harty during a home invasion at 581 East River St. in Orange on Oct. 5, 2016, and of causing the fatal injuries to Fisher. 

Smith and Hart also allegedly ransacked the home looking for cash and fled the scene, taking with them the victims’ credit and debit cards and the keys to a Toyota Matrix. The two were apprehended by the Rockbridge County Sheriff’s Department in Virginia.

Defense attorneys for Smith and Hart, Mary Anne Stamm and Brian E. Murphy respectively, brought the motion forward, having called into question methods used by law enforcement officials to obtain confessions from the defendants.

The hearing on the motion began in December 2017. Final arguments are expected to take place during the March 2 continuation. Both Hart and Smith are expected to be tried separately in April at Franklin Superior Court.