- Associated Press - Friday, February 22, 2019

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) - The defense attorney for a man accused of strangling a former high school classmate and throwing her body off a New Jersey bridge has told jurors that “without a body, there is no murder.”

Closing arguments are underway Friday in the murder trial of Liam McAtasney. Monmouth County prosecutors say McAtasney killed 19-year-old Sarah Stern during a 2016 robbery. They showed jurors a secretly recorded conversation in which McAtasney admitted to the crime.

But McAtasney’s defense attorney, Carlos Diaz-Cobo, told jurors Friday that “without a body, there is no murder.” Stern’s body has never been found.

McAtasney chose not testify on his own behalf.

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