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‘It took me a half-hour to kill her' - Secret recording played at Sarah Stern trial

Jurors in the Sarah Stern murder trial had a chance to hear directly from the alleged killer Thursday as prosecutors played a video recording of defendant Liam McAtasney.

News 12 Staff

Feb 7, 2019, 11:18 PM

Updated 1,962 days ago

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Jurors in the Sarah Stern murder trial had a chance to hear directly from the alleged killer Thursday as prosecutors played a video recording of defendant Liam McAtasney.
The video was secretly recorded by witness Anthony Curry, a friend of McAtasney.
Curry testified that weeks before Stern’s disappearance McAtasney told him about his plan to kill and rob Stern of thousands of dollars that she had recently inherited.
Curry said that he initially thought McAtasney’s plan was a joke. But when he heard that Stern was actually missing, he went to police to report what he had heard.
Curry agreed to wear a wire and recorded McAtasney inside his car with a secret camera describing what he allegedly did to Stern.
McAtasney says in the video, “It took me a half-hour to kill her. I thought I would be able to choke her out and have her out in like a couple of minutes. I choked her out and then she was just lying there having a seizure or something…so then I had a shirt and I just shoved it down her throat so she wouldn’t throw up or anything and had my finger over her nose.”
WARNING: This video contains strong and disturbing language and may not be suitable for all viewers.

He says that the biggest problem was Stern's dog, which "laid there and watched as I killed her."
McAtasney then says that he hid Stern’s body in her bathroom and had to leave to go to work. He then says that he called his friend and roommate Preston Taylor to come over to hide the body in the bushes.
The defendant is then heard describing how he and Taylor allegedly disposed of Stern’s body by throwing it off of the Route 35 Bridge in Belmar.
“I got up on top of the bridge to throw her off. My plan was, I was going to throw her off, run over, jump over the divider and get in Preston's car… I go up, open the door, unhook her, pull her out and start dragging her to throw her over and then cars start coming,” McAtasney is heard saying.
Stern’s car was left abandoned at the bridge. Prosecutors say that this was done to make her disappearance look like she committed suicide.
Taylor previously pleaded guilty to his role in the crime. He was the first witness to testify for the prosecution.
During cross-examination, McAtasney’s defense attorney tried to discredit Curry, saying that Curry was trying to raise his profile as a filmmaker. The attorney implied that the story McAtasney told was a horror movie plot. The prosecution says that this is not the case.
Curry’s father Edward Curry also took the stand Thursday to corroborate his son’s story. He testified that Anthony Curry came to him after Stern went missing and that the two of them decided to go to the police to report it.
The trial is expected to resume Tuesday.


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