Judge Rejects Request For New Trial

Liam McAtasney. (File photo)
Liam McAtasney. (File photo)

FREEHOLD – There will be no new trial for convicted murderer Liam McAtasney.

The 21-year-old Neptune resident, convicted in February of killing school friend Sarah Stern, 19, back in 2016, was to have been sentenced today. Sentencing was postponed as McAtasney’s legal team argued he didn’t receive a fair trial, an argument Superior Court Judge Richard W. English ultimately rejected.

McAtasney was convicted of murder, felony murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, desecration of human remains, tampering with evidence and hindering his own apprehension. He’s looking at mandatory life in prison with no possibility of parole.

His new sentencing date is 9 a.m. June 14.

He was accused of murdering Stern over inheritance money.

He and a friend and roommate, Preston Taylor, dumped her body Route 35 bridge from Belmar to Neptune and left her car atop the bridge to make it appear as a suicide. Her remains have never been recovered.

Taylor reached a plea deal with prosecutors for his cooperation in testifying against McAtasney. He pleaded guilty in 2017 to robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, desecrating human remains, conspiracy to desecrate human remains and hindering the apprehension of himself and McAtasney. He’ll likely serve 20 years in prison.