Murder trial begins for man charged with strangling NJ teen, throwing her body off a bridge

FREEHOLD, N.J. — Open arguments have begun in the murder trial of a man accused of strangling a former high school classmate during a robbery and throwing her body off a New Jersey bridge.

Police arrested Liam McAtasney, 19, in connection with Sarah Stern’s death. (Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office)

Monmouth County prosecutors said Wednesday that Liam McAtasney thought he was going to get $100,000 from the robbery but only got $8,000. They also say he confessed to the killing of Sarah Stern in a conversation recorded by a friend who was working with investigators.

Defense lawyers say McAtasney made up the entire story because he wanted to impress the friend, an experienced horror movie maker.

Authorities say McAtasney killed the 19-year-old Stern in December 2016. Another former classmate said they threw her body off the bridge, leaving her car there to make it look like she killed herself.

Sarah Stern was reported missing on Dec. 2.

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