New Jersey teen entered a guilty plea in horrific murder of 19-year-old former classmate. Monmouth County prosecutors announced that Preston Taylor, 19, pleaded guilty to robbery, conspiracy, disturbing or desecrating human remains, hindering apprehension and tampering with physical evidence.
In return, prosecutors agreed to drop a felony murder charge he also faced in the death of 19-year-old Sarah Stern. Taylor admitted that he helped throw the body of Sarah Stern into a river and agreed to testify against Liam McAtasney, who is accused of strangling Stern and stealing $10,000 from her.
Preston Taylor (left), 19, has pleaded guilty in the horrific murder of 19-year-old, Sarah Stern (right) whose body was thrown off a bridge after she was strangled to death.
Liam McAtasney had plotted the killing for six months after learning that she had come into money from her grandmother, prosecutors said. According to the indictment, McAtasney killed Stern during a robbery that netted $10,000. McAtasney admitted in a recorded conversation that he choked Stern to death. He also reportedly bragged about watching her die for half an hour. McAtasney then recruited Taylor to dump her body off Belmar Bridge into the Shark River in New Jersey.
Prosecutors have said Liam McAtasney (left) killed former classmate Sarah Stern on December 2, 2016 for the money, then called Preston Taylor (right) to help him get rid of the body.
McAtasney and Taylor were longtime friends of Stern. Taylor even went to junior prom date with Stern. Taylor said the pair agreed to split up $10,000 and he would receive $3,000. When Taylor was reported as missing, both men were volunteered to help search for Stern near the river after her car was found.
Taylor and Stern even went to junior prom together.
Sarah Stern’s body has not been found as authorities fear it’s been swept to sea. By testing against McAtasney, Taylor will avoid the life sentence, but he’ll face up to 20 years in prison.
— Monmouth Prosecutor (@MonCoProsecutor) April 24, 2017
As for the main killer, McAtasney will face a life sentence with no chance for parole if convicted. The grand jury had indicted McAtasney on charges of murder, felony murder, conspiracy, desecrating human remains, tampering with evidence and hindering apprehension or prosecution.