FREEHOLD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A jury on Tuesday found a New Jersey man guilty of strangling his childhood friend and stealing her inheritance money.
Prosecutors alleged 21-year-old Liam McAtasney killed 19-year-old Sarah Stern inside her Neptune City home in December 2016. Then he and his roommate, Preston Taylor, allegedly dumped her body off the Belmar Bridge.
Stern’s body was never found.
Earlier this month, prosecutors showed the jury what they called a confession from McAtasney. His friend, Andrew Curry, secretly recorded it two months after Stern disappeared.
“You didn’t hear about it. It was all over the news.”
“You like killed her?”
“And the worst part is… we threw her off the bridge and the body never showed up.”
The recording included gruesome details about her death.
“I picked her up then had her just dangling off the ground.”
“She was just lying there having a seizure or something. So I got a shirt and just shoved it down her throat so she wouldn’t throw up or anything. And held my finger over her nose.”
Prosecutors say McAtasney and Taylor were after Stern’s inheritance money from her late mother.
Taylor, who attended junior prom with Stern, took a plea deal and took the stand against McAtasney.
“It started off as plans to either burglarize her house or to rob her personally,” he testified. “Over time the conversations progressed to killing her.”
McAtasney’s sentencing is set for May 24th. He faces life in prison.