NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Closing arguments began Friday in the murder trial of a New Jersey man accused of strangling his childhood friend and stealing her inheritance money.
Prosecutors allege 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.
“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 defense says there’s no physical evidence to support the allegations.
The jury in the case is expected to begin their deliberations as early as Monday.