Man says he didn’t strangle NJ teen, throw her body off a bridge

Sarah Stern was reported missing on Dec. 2.

FREEHOLD, N.J. — A New Jersey man accused of strangling a woman during a robbery and throwing her body off a bridge with another man has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges.

Liam McAtasney entered his pleas Monday during a brief court hearing.

Monmouth County prosecutors will seek a life sentence with no chance of parole for the 19-year-old Neptune City man. They say he killed 19-year-old Sarah Stern on Dec. 2 during a robbery that netted $10,000.

Preston Taylor, a longtime friend of both Stern and McAtasney, pleaded guilty last month and admitted helping him dispose of Stern’s body.

The men were among nearly 100 people who volunteered to help search for Stern after her car was found. Prosecutors have said the duo participated in the search to deflect suspicion.