Man gets life in prison for Sarah Stern murder

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) - A man convicted of strangling an ex-classmate and throwing her body off a bridge has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Liam McAtasney received his sentence Friday. He was convicted in February of the murder of high school classmate Sarah Stern.

Monmouth County prosecutors said McAtasney strangled the 19-year-old Stern during a December 2016 robbery and then dumped her body off the Route 35 bridge in Belmar, leaving her car on the bridge to make it look like a suicide.

Stern's body has never been found.

McAtasney was convicted of murder, robbery and other counts including desecration of human remains.

During his trial, jurors heard a secretly recorded conversation in which McAtasney talked about Stern's death and how it took her a half-hour to die.