Judge dismisses 2nd juror; denies mistrial request in Sarah Stern murder trial

A Monmouth County judge has denied a request to declare a mistrial in the Sarah Stern murder trial but has dismissed a second juror.

News 12 Staff

Feb 14, 2019, 6:11 PM

Updated 1,928 days ago

Share:

Judge dismisses 2nd juror; denies mistrial request in Sarah Stern murder trial
A Monmouth County judge has denied a request to declare a mistrial in the Sarah Stern murder trial but has dismissed a second juror.
The request for the mistrial by the defense attorney for Liam McAtasney came after it was revealed that Juror No. 13 posted about the case on social media. The post included an article by the Asbury Park Press, along with the post “Sitting on the jury LMAO.”
The juror has claimed her 15-year-old sister made the post, but she was dismissed anyway. Judge Richard English also dismissed Juror No. 14, who apparently made contact with Juror No. 13 through social media.
English also stated that Juror No. 13 will be facing contempt of court charges for breaking the rules.
McAtasney’s attorney argued that at least five jurors knew about the Facebook post and had conversations about the case, which is in violation of Judge English’s instructions. But prosecutors argued that the jurors only interacted about their personal relationships, which is allowed.
English denied the request for the mistrial. "I am confident the remaining 14 jurors are able to hear this case and make their decision based on evidence of this case alone and nothing else,” the judge said. “They all have indicated, as their oath indicates, they will be fair and impartial jurors.”
The second half of the day focused on testimony and the cross-examination of Monmouth County Prosecutor Detective Brian Weisbrot. Weisbrot was one of the first detectives to interview McAtasney before he was officially a suspect. Weisbrot also helped set up a hidden camera that captured an apparent confession made by McAtasney.
McAtasney is accused of strangling Stern, a former high school classmate, in December 2016 and throwing her body off the Route 35 Bridge in Belmar. Prosecutors say that he did this in order to steal money she had recently inherited.
The trial is expected to resume Wednesday.


More from News 12
0:19
Officials: 12-year-old from Fort Lee dies

Officials: 12-year-old from Fort Lee dies

2:11
STORM WATCH: Scattered showers, severe storms possible in New Jersey on Memorial Day

STORM WATCH: Scattered showers, severe storms possible in New Jersey on Memorial Day

1:37
Federal Election Commission: Sen. Menendez paid $2M to Paul Hastings law firm, defense attorneys

Federal Election Commission: Sen. Menendez paid $2M to Paul Hastings law firm, defense attorneys

Guide: 2024 Memorial Day Parades in New Jersey

Guide: 2024 Memorial Day Parades in New Jersey

Wennberg scores in OT, Rangers top Panthers 5-4 to take lead in East finals

Wennberg scores in OT, Rangers top Panthers 5-4 to take lead in East finals

1:46
‘We need you.’ Monmouth County teens training as summer lifeguards during shortage

‘We need you.’ Monmouth County teens training as summer lifeguards during shortage

2:54
Perth Amboy Fire Department offers grilling safety tips for the summer season

Perth Amboy Fire Department offers grilling safety tips for the summer season

0:27
Police: 26-year-old motorcyclist killed in Englewood crash

Police: 26-year-old motorcyclist killed in Englewood crash

1:47
More than the Shore: New Jersey celebrates Memorial Day weekend in Hoboken

More than the Shore: New Jersey celebrates Memorial Day weekend in Hoboken

1:45
Beachgoers pack the Jersey Shore to mark unofficial start of summer

Beachgoers pack the Jersey Shore to mark unofficial start of summer

1:11
Thousands participate in 46th annual Spring Lake 5-mile run

Thousands participate in 46th annual Spring Lake 5-mile run

Dolphin stuck in NJ creek dies after ‘last resort’ rescue attempt, officials say

Dolphin stuck in NJ creek dies after ‘last resort’ rescue attempt, officials say

2:08
Blood test that detects colon cancer close to receiving FDA approval

Blood test that detects colon cancer close to receiving FDA approval

1:34
'This is unbelievable traffic.’ Memorial Day travelers share road trip blues

'This is unbelievable traffic.’ Memorial Day travelers share road trip blues

0:18
Prosecutor: Man accused of killing man in Roselle park turns himself in

Prosecutor: Man accused of killing man in Roselle park turns himself in

2:50
Police: 1 person injured in explosion at Sayreville power station; hundreds without power

Police: 1 person injured in explosion at Sayreville power station; hundreds without power

0:24
Newark man convicted of robbing poker player in Atlantic City

Newark man convicted of robbing poker player in Atlantic City

1:34
Fire at commercial building in Secaucus sends plumes of smoke into the air

Fire at commercial building in Secaucus sends plumes of smoke into the air

0:51
Jersey Proud: Ashley Lauren Foundation helps provide pool to boy with brain cancer

Jersey Proud: Ashley Lauren Foundation helps provide pool to boy with brain cancer

0:44
Gov. Murphy announces $100M Boardwalk Preservation Fund for the Jersey Shore

Gov. Murphy announces $100M Boardwalk Preservation Fund for the Jersey Shore