Source: AP - AP Wire Service
Jun 21 16:08
Editors Note Adds details.
FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) _ A judge sentenced a man Friday to life in prison without parole for strangling an ex-classmate and throwing her body off a bridge.
Liam McAtasney was convicted in February of the murder of high school classmate Sarah Stern, who disappeared in December 2016.
Monmouth County prosecutors said McAtasney strangled the 19-year-old Stern at her Neptune City home during a robbery and then dumped her body off the Route 35 bridge in Belmar, leaving her car on the bridge to make it look like a suicide.
Stern's body has never been found.
McAtasney was convicted of murder, robbery and other counts including desecration of human remains.
During the trial, McAtasney's roommate, Preston Taylor, testified he helped McAtasney take Stern's body from her home and throw it off the bridge. Taylor pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.
Jurors also heard a secretly recorded conversation in which McAtasney talked to an acquaintance about Stern's death and how it took her a half-hour to die.
Defense attorneys called McAtasney's statements in the video a made-up story intended to pitch a film idea to the acquaintance, a horror film maker.
Received Id AP119172F9CC33F7 on Jun 21 2019 16:56