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'It took me a half hour to kill her, I set a timer': New Jersey man is caught on disturbing secret video describing how he strangled his former classmate and then threw her body off a bridge

Liam McAtasney was caught on a secretly recorded video (above) telling his friend, who was working with investigators, about how he killed 19-year-old Sarah Stern for her inheritance in New Jersey back in 2016 

  • Liam McAtasney was caught on a secretly recorded video telling his friend about how he killed 19-year-old Sarah Stern in New Jersey in 2016
  • Jurors were shown the disturbing video during his murder trial on Thursday
  • The video was filmed just days before McAtasney and his alleged accomplice, Preston Taylor, were charged in 2017 with her murder
  • Authorities said McAtasney and Taylor threw Stern's body off a bridge before leaving her car there to make it look like she killed herself 
  • Police said the motive for the murder was to steal Stern's inheritance   

A man accused of strangling his former high school classmate and throwing her body off a New Jersey bridge was caught on video describing how it took her 30 minutes to die and that he had timed it on his phone. 

Liam McAtasney was secretly recorded telling his friend, who was working with investigators, about how he killed 19-year-old Sarah Stern for her inheritance back in 2016. 

The video was filmed just days before McAtasney and his alleged accomplice, Preston Taylor, were charged in 2017 with killing the 19-year-old girl. 

Authorities said McAtasney and Taylor threw Stern's body off a bridge before leaving her car there to make it look like she killed herself.  

Liam McAtasney was caught on a secretly recorded video (above) telling his friend, who was working with investigators, about how he killed 19-year-old Sarah Stern for her inheritance in New Jersey back in 2016 

Jurors were shown the disturbing video, which was caught on a hidden camera planted by police, during McAtasney's murder trial on Thursday. 

'I pretty much hung her,' McAtasney said to his friend Anthony Curry in the footage. 

'I picked her up and had her dangling off the ground. It took me a half hour to kill her. I set a timer.' 

Authorities said McAtasney and Taylor threw Stern's body off a bridge before leaving her car there to make it look like the 19-year-old killed herself. Her body has never been found 

Authorities said McAtasney and Taylor threw Stern's body off a bridge before leaving her car there to make it look like the 19-year-old killed herself. Her body has never been found 

McAtasney says in the video that he then shoved a shirt down her throat and placed his finger on her nose.  

He said the biggest problem was Stern's dog but it just 'laid there and watched as I killed her.'

McAtasney went onto tell his friend that he needed Taylor's help dumping Stern's body off the Route 35 bridge because he didn't realize how heavy she would be. 

In the video, McAtasney also talks about he thought he was going to get $100,000 by robbing Stern of her inheritance after killing her, but that he only got $8,000. 

'The worst part of it is I thought I was going to come out $50,000 to a $100,000 in my pocket. She had one safe that she took money out, and she only had $10,000,' he said. 

'And this money, I don't know if it was burnt or something, it's f*****g old money. Terrible quality. I don't even know if I can put any of it in the f*****g bank.' 

McAtasney can also be heard telling Curry that Taylor would kill him if he snitched.

He claimed that Curry was the only person to know about Stern's death besides Taylor. 

Jurors were shown the disturbing video, which was caught on a hidden camera planted by police, during McAtasney's murder trial on Thursday. He is pictured in court last week 

Jurors were shown the disturbing video, which was caught on a hidden camera planted by police, during McAtasney's murder trial on Thursday. He is pictured in court last week 

Preston Taylor

The conversation was filmed just days before McAtasney (left) and accomplice, Preston Taylor right), were arrested and charged with the murder of 19-year-old Sarah Stern

'I don't feel any different, I really don't think about it,' McAtasney said. 'You always think you're going to try all these new things and change, but it just doesn't do anything. It's weird. 

Curry replied: 'It's a f****** movie, man.'

McAtasney replied: 'It's your life. You might as well make it one. What are you going to live some boring a** life?'

Curry came forward to authorities in January 2017 after his father contacted a retired officer from the Bradley Beach department. 

He testified on Thursday that McAtasney first told him of his plans to strangle Stern on Thanksgiving in 2016. 

At the time, he hadn't thought much of the conversation but grew worried when he learned that the woman had been reported missing on December 3, 2016.

Curry had attended high school with both Stern and McAtasney. 

Both Stern and McAtasney had been in the victim's home in Avon-by-the-Sea when she found a shoebox full of cash that had belonged to her deceased mother. 

'He told me he was going to meet up with Sarah, she had found this money,' Curry said in court. 

Authorities said McAtasney and Taylor threw Stern's body off a bridge before leaving her car there to make it look like she killed herself. Police later found her abandoned car on the bridge (pictured above)

Alleged accomplice Preston Taylor admitted to his role in the killing and testified against McAtasney on the first day of the trial

'They were going to count it together. He was going to choke her, choke her out. Bring her to the bridge, throw her off and Preston was going to drive the escape vehicle. And they were going to bury the money, and leave the keys in the ignition and make it look like she killed herself.' 

After Stern's disappearance, Curry said that he and McAtasney corresponded on Snapchat because of its ability to get rid of messages. Curry videotaped the contents from those messages. 

The messages led Monmouth County Prosecutors to obtain a warrant for consensual recording. 

McAtasney's attorney has argued that the video is not a confession and that McAtasney made up a story to impress his friend. 

'The statement to Anthony Curry is not a confession,' Carlos Diaz-Cobo said. 

'It's an elaborate lie, it's an audition. It's a script. It's not true. ... A young, immature boy decided he was going to use this unfortunate disappearance and make up this story.' 

Curry admitted, during cross examination, that his friend had a tendency to share fabricated stories with him and that the two often talked about movies together. 

The defense claims there is no physical evidence to support the accusations.

Stern's body has never been found. 

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