FREEHOLD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A private conversation comes back to haunt an accused killer.
A New Jersey courtroom heard the gruesome details from the man charged with killing his childhood friend, Sarah Stern.
“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.”
It was a chilling confession to a brutal murder. The alleged motive? Money.
“We went to the bank. She took some money out. Not all of her money. We’re carrying it out and she goes to walk out the front door. I choke her out… drag her.”
Liam McAtasney’s account of how he allegedly killed Sarah Stern in December of 2016 played out in court Thursday.
Her father sobbed as McAtasney detailed her final moments in his hands.
“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.”
Sarah’s body was never found, but McAtasney’s alleged confession was secretly recorded by his high school friend, Andrew Curry, two months after she disappeared from Neptune City, New Jersey.
Curry says McAtasney was after Stern’s inheritance money from her deceased mother.
After Sarah disappeared, Curry went to police and agreed to help with the investigation. At one point in the tape McAtasney described losing his cell phone during the struggle to kill Sarah at her home.
McAtaseny is accused of then dumping her body over a bridge with the help of co-conspirator Preston Taylor. He also described nearly getting caught in the act.
“Start dragging her to throw her over and then cars start coming up and I see headlights coming.”
“I grab her body, dude, I had super human strength and I threw it in the car.”
“The two of us throw the body over and then we were out.”
The defense is expected to argue he concocted the story to impress Curry, a budding film maker.
The trial is expected to resume on Feb. 12.