Teenager 'strangled friend and watched her die for 30 minutes'

The details in the murder case against Liam McAtasney emerged during a hearing in which a judge ruled the 19-year-old man will remain jailed until his trial for the death of 19-year-old Sarah Stern.

Prosecutors said the teen watched the clock as Stern, a recent Neptune High School graduate and aspiring artist was dying.

Sources involved in the investigation tell News 12 New Jersey that Taylor and McAtasney allegedly buried two lockboxes containing items stolen from Stern's home at Sandy Hook and Shark River Park.

During last week's hearing, Taylor's father, Jeremiah Taylor, testified that after his son's arrest, he removed all of Preston's belongings from a residence he shared with McAtasney and "washed and folded everything".

At a court hearing last week, prosecutors said Taylor, who took Stern to junior prom, told police McAtasney had planned Stern's slaying for six months.

Prosecutors allege Taylor hid the body behind bushes, with the two men later returning and putting her body in the front seat of her auto.

Sarah was last seen on December 2. Stern has never been found.

Law enforcement officials tell News 12 New Jersey that McAtasney's phone was later found in Stern's driveway.

Charles Moriarty, McAtasney's attorney, didn't fight the judge's decision to remand his client, but said after court the young man was innocent, according to NJ.com.

A man has allegedly confessed to strangling his childhood friend and watching her die over half-an-hour.

Prosecutors say the girl's murder came after McAtasney having become of Stern withdrawing a large sum of money, reportedly in the thousands of dollars and went to her home, December 2nd.

The woman's vehicle was found abandoned on a Belmar bridge in December, and police initially thought she jumped off of it to her death.

Officers began searching for Stern when her unoccupied silver Oldsmobile was found on the shoulder of Route 35 Bridge in Belmar.

McAtasney faces charges of murder, felony murder, robbery, disturbing human remains, conspiring with another to disturb human remains and hindering apprehension or prosecution, according to the Asbury Park Press.

His co-defendant, Preston McAtasney, 19, Taylor has been charged with second-degree desecration of human remains and second-degree hindering apprehension.

  • Larry Hoffman