Liam McAtasney, the 19-year-old New Jersey man accused of killing his close friend and classmate Sarah Stern, allegedly told a witness that he choked Stern and watched her die over the course of 30 minutes, prosecutors claim.
The conversation between McAtasney and the anonymous witness was recorded, People magazine reported.
McAtasney is accused of robbing Stern, killing her, and then, with his friend Preston Taylor, dumping her body in a river. Prosecutors accused him of planning the attack for weeks.
Stern’s remains have never been located.
McAtasney’s lawyer Charles Moriarty told reporters that his client maintains his innocence and that the confession was joking “locker room talk.” He said that there is no proof yet that Stern is dead.
The Asbury Park Press reported that Moriarty added that neighbors said Stern seemed suicidal on the day of her death.
Taylor, however, reportedly confessed to disposing of Stern’s body.
[Image: Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office. L-R: Taylor, McAtasney]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxgen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.