AP NEWS

2 Athol residents get life sentences for killing couple

May 11, 2018

GREENFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Two Massachusetts residents convicted of killing an elderly married couple during a home invasion are going to prison for the rest of their lives.

Joshua Hart and Brittany Smith, both of Athol, were sentenced Thursday to mandatory sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

They were convicted in separate trials of two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 95-year-old Thomas Harty and 77-year-old Joanna Fisher.

Harty died at the scene of the October 2016 home invasion in Orange. Fisher, who used a wheelchair, died weeks later.

Prosecutors say the defendants, armed with a knife and a wrench, entered the home, stabbed the victims and stood on Fisher’s chest to push out her breath.

The pair wanted to steal a car and money so they could leave Massachusetts.