A struggling New Jersey artist accused of murdering his childhood friend gave a chilling account of the killing in a secretly recorded video that was played in court Thursday.
“I pretty much hung her. I picked her up and had her dangling off the ground. It took me a half hour to kill her. I set a timer,” Liam McAtasney purportedly said in the video, which was played in New Jersey Superior Court and published online by the Asbury Park Press. “I thought I would be able to choke her out and have her out in like a couple of minutes.”
McAtasney is accused of killing his close friend and classmate Sarah Stern, 19, in 2017 before he and his roommate Preston Taylor dumped her body in a river. Prosecutors say he planned the attack for weeks and stole a several thousand dollars that she'd inherited from her mother before choking her to death.
The clip shown Thursday was covertly recorded by his friend Anthony Curry, who was encouraged by police to document a confession, according to the New York Post.
The man prosecutors identified as McAtasney also callously mentioned that Stern’s dog didn’t help her and instead "laid there and watched as I killed her." He called that the “biggest problem’ of the whole incident. Then, he appeared to go into painstaking detail about how he disposed of her body by throwing her off a bridge. He complained about how heavy the body was.
He also didn’t seem to have any remorse.
“I don’t think about it. You always think you’re going to try new things and change. It just don’t do anything,” he allegedly said. “It’s your life. You might as well make it one. You gonna live some boring-a–- life?”
He and Taylor were arrested on Feb. 1, 2017, two months after the murder.
Taylor has already pleaded guilty to several charges for his role and was the first witness to testify against McAtasney, according to News 12 New Jersey.
Both men, now 21, were 19 at the time of Stern’s death.
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