Jury to deliberate over man accused of killing childhood friend, throwing body off NJ bridge

Jurors are expected to begin deliberations Monday in the trial of a man accused of strangling a former high school classmate and throwing her body off a New Jersey bridge.

Monmouth County prosecutors allege that 21-year-old Liam McAtasney killed 19-year-old Sarah Stern during a December 2016 robbery.

Defense attorney Carlos Diaz-Cobo, however, told jurors in his closing argument Friday that there was reasonable doubt that the victim was dead, since her body has never been found. He said "Without a body, there is no murder."

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Prosecutors cited a secretly recorded conversation of the defendant talking about Stern's death, but the defense calls that a made-up story made to pitch a film idea.

Prosecutors are seeking a first-degree murder conviction. McAtasney chose not to take the stand on his own behalf.