Judge rules police interview can be used in Sarah Stern murder trial

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A Monmouth County judge ruled that a police interview with suspected killer Liam McAtasney can be used in the case against him.

Superior Court Judge Richard English ruled Thursday that the jury can hear the police interviews, recorded in December 2016.

McAtasney is accused of strangling former friend and classmate Sarah Stern in 2016 in an attempt to steal thousands of dollars from her. McAtasney and his friend Preston Taylor allegedly staged Stern’s death to look like a suicide and threw her body over the Route 35 Bridge in Belmar into the Shark River. 

Stern’s body has never been recovered.

Defense attorneys argued that McAtasney was not read his Miranda rights prior to the December 2016 interview at Belmar Police Headquarters.

Judge English still needs to decide if a secretly-taped conversation reportedly featuring McAtasney confessing to the murder will be allowed into evidence during the trial. The videotape was reportedly secretly made by a former classmate of McAtasney.

Judge English said that he would decide on the issue by the end of March.

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