Man accused of killing childhood friend rejects plea deal

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A Monmouth County man accused of killing his childhood friend and throwing her body off a bridge has rejected a plea deal prior to the start of his trial.

Liam McAtasney rejected a plea deal for a life sentence without parole, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

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McAtasney is accused of strangling 19-year-old Sarah Stern in December 2016. Prosecutors say that McAtasney killed Stern in order to obtain an amount of money she had recently received. McAtasney allegedly recruited his roommate Preston Taylor to help dispose of Stern’s body by throwing it off a bridge into the Shark River. Stern’s body was never found.

Taylor has pleaded guilty for his role in the crime. He is expected to testify against McAtasney.

McAtasney’s trial is expected to begin January 2019. 

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