GUILTY NJ - Sarah Stern, 19, Neptune City, 2 Dec 2016 *Arrests* #3

Discussion in 'Trials' started by Greater Than, Feb 18, 2017.

  1. 283

    283 Member

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    I was wondering same thing- maybe they figure the prosecution could do more damage on cross and outweighed whatever benefit they thought their testimony could provide? I don’t know but I don’t get the impression they would bow out based on the video seeing how they have invested so much in this defense already but just my opinion?
     
  2. Smok44

    Smok44 Member

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    So today started the defense and they called 1 witness who was proven a liar when cross examined and they rested their case? o_O
     
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  3. jleighb

    jleighb Member

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    thanks :)
     
  4. inmyhumbleopinion

    inmyhumbleopinion #NeverGivingUp

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    “[SBM]

    McAtasney, 21, of Neptune City, was barely audible as he told Superior Court Judge Richard W. English he wished to remain silent and not testify in his defense.

    Instead, the defense relied on testimony of three witnesses called over two days to assert that the state has not proven McAtasney strangled his childhood friend during a robbery in 2016 and threw her body off the Route 35 bridge from Belmar to Neptune.

    [SBM]

    [Craig] Hetzel testified Wednesday that he saw a woman duck into an alley in Bradley Beach about 5 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, and he told jurors he was certain the woman he observed was Stern — the same person he later saw pictured on missing persons posters and news reports. Hetzel said he then proceeded over the Route 35 bridge, where he saw a disabled car unattended near the top of the span.

    [SBM]

    Hetzel testified that he waited until February 2017 to reveal what he saw that December morning, only after learning that arrests were made in Stern's murder. He said he told his lawyer and a private investigator working for McAtasney's previous defense attorney about what he saw, but he said he never talked to any detectives from the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office about seeing Stern that morning.

    [SBM]

    [Detective Brian] Weisbrot, the lead investigator on the Stern case, testified that he had in fact interviewed Hetzel by telephone on Feb. 21, 2017.

    Christopher Decker, assistant Monmouth County prosecutor, asked Weisbrot if Hetzel said he was certain it was Stern he saw that morning.

    ‘No, he said that the girl that he saw in Bradley Beach resembled Sarah Stern,’ Weisbrot replied, referring to notes he had taken at the time of the phone call.

    He said that it appeared she had some type of scarf wrapped around her face and head area,‘ Weisbrot testified.

    The detective also explained why he didn't pursue Hetzel's claims further. Hetzel said he saw the car on the bridge about 5:15 a.m., but Stern's car had been towed from the bridge hours earlier, the detective said.

    ‘It wasn't Sarah Stern's car because the car had already been impounded at that point.’” (BBM)
    Sarah Stern murder: McAtasney won't take the stand, victim sighting rebutted
     
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  5. inmyhumbleopinion

    inmyhumbleopinion #NeverGivingUp

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    From the same article:

    “Earlier Thursday, defense attorney Carlos Diaz-Cobo called the private investigator to whom Hetzel reported the sighting to testify about a study he did of traffic going over the Route 35 bridge from 10:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 to 12:30 a.m. the following Saturday morning, about a year later but during the same time frame prosecutors allege McAtasney and Taylor threw Stern's body off the span. The investigator, Martin Arasin, testified he counted 1,453 vehicles going over the bridge in that time frame.

    Decker had no questions about the traffic study, but he pressed the private investigator about what Hetzel had told him. Arasin said that while he met with Hetzel in person and took an affidavit from him in which Hetzel said he saw Stern on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2016, the private investigator said he was ‘hazy’ about a prior telephone conversation he had with Hetzel.

    Decker played a recording of that telephone conversation in court. On it, Hetzel told Arasin he saw Stern on a Friday, not a Saturday.

    Decker also played a recording of a telephone conversation between Arasin and Hetzel's attorney, James Hundley.

    ‘The only thing I can tell you is, Craig told me it was the morning of the 2nd of December, which would have been a Friday, and I understand now the car was found on the bridge around 1 or 2 a.m. on Saturday morning,’ said the voice on the recording, which Arasin identified as Hundley's.” (BBM)
     
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  6. inmyhumbleopinion

    inmyhumbleopinion #NeverGivingUp

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    Also from the same article:

    “Sean McMahon, a friend of McAtasney, had testified under direct examination that he never heard the defendant say that Stern had ‘the type of money someone would kill for,’ during a dinner with McAtasney, [Preston] Taylor and another friend at Clancy's Tavern in Neptune in October of 2016.

    [SBM]

    McMahon in his testimony was vague about when in October of 2016 that dinner at Clancy's took place.

    [Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor, Meghan] Doyle demanded specifics from McMahon ....

    [SBM]

    For most of the questions, McMahon said he couldn't remember, but he did say he drove to Clancy's, and all four of them ordered chicken fingers.

    ‘You don't remember a lot about that day in October in Clancy's, only that this defendant never told you that it was money he would kill for,’ Doyle said to the witness.

    ‘Correct,’ he responded.

    ‘Liam is your best friend,’ Doyle said. ‘You don't want him to get in trouble. You would do anything to help him.’

    McMahon acknowledged that was true.

    ‘I would do anything for any of my friends,’ he said.

    ‘Including lie for them?’ Doyle asked.

    ‘No I wouldn't lie,’ McMahon said.

    Attorneys will deliver their closing arguments to the jury Friday.”
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
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  7. 283

    283 Member

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    Has anyone here been in the courtroom or has there been any coverage on the demographics of the jurors or any sense of their reactions to testimony?
     
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  8. spaz1959

    spaz1959 Well-Known Member

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    How was the prosecution able to play a recording of the investigators phone conversation with Mr.Hetzel? Was the PI fuzzy about his conversation with Mr. Hetzel.
     
  9. Kavya01

    Kavya01 Well-Known Member

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    An about-perfect observation there, Smok44.:D
     
  10. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

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    Friday, February 22nd:
    *Trial continues (Day 12)-Closing Arguments (@ 9:30am ET) - NJ - Sarah Stern (19) (Dec. 2, 2016, Neptune City; not found) - *Liam McAtasney (21/19 @ time of crime) charged (2/1/17) & indicted (2/2/17) with 1st degree murder, 1st degree robbery, felony murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, desecrating human remains (2nd degree), tampering with physical evidence & hindering his own apprehension. Plead not guilty. No bond. DA seeks Life.
    Trial started 1/23/19; should last 4 to 6 weeks & will only be on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays.
    Skipping over Day 1 thru 6 - reference post #832 here: Still Missing - NJ - Sarah Stern, 19, Neptune City, 2 Dec 2016 *Arrests* #2
    Skipping over Day 7 thru 8 - reference post #962 here - Still Missing - NJ - Sarah Stern, 19, Neptune City, 2 Dec 2016 *Arrests* #2
    2/14/19 Day 9: The juror (#13) dismissed on 2/7/19 over a post on her Facebook page will face contempt charges, said Judge English. The judge interviewed each juror about what he or she heard from the dismissed juror this morning. A second juror (#14) was released as a result. Defense attorneys were asking for 5 other jurors to be released & had previously requested a mistrial, which the judge denied. Twelve jurors & two alternates remain. State witnesses: Detective Brian Weisbrot, the lead detective. Weisbrot expected to return to the stand when trial resumes on Wednesday, 2/20.
    2/20/19 Day 10: Detective John Sosdian of the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office. State rests their case. Following the state's case, Diaz-Cobo made a motion for a judgment of acquittal on charges of murder, felony murder & robbery. Judge English denied the motion. Defense witness: Craig Hetzel Sr. (saw a woman who resembled Sarah Stern on the day she went missing). No additional witnesses called by Diaz-Cobo on Wednesday, as the day was cut short due to the impending snowfall. Diaz-Cobo is expected to call six witnesses, including McAtasney’s mother, his cousin, a friend and also a private investigator. Trial continues on 2/21.
    2/21/19 Day 11: Defense witness: Sean McMahon (Liam's friend). Martin Arisin a private investigator who worked on the case for McAtasney’s previous defense attorney. Defense rests. McAt will not testify. State's Rebuttal witness: Detective Brian Weisbrot of the Monmouth County Prosecutor's office to rebut defense witness Hetzel's sighting of Sarah after she was dead). Closing arguments start Friday, 2/22.

    His accomplice Preston Taylor (19) faces up to 20 years in state prison and is subject to the No Early Release Act. (Was facing up to life in prison on the felony murder charge and 51 years for the additional charges). He pleaded guilty (4/27/17) to 1st degree robbery, 2nd degree conspiracy to commit robbery, 2nd degree distributing or desecrating human remains, 2 counts of 3rd degree hindering apprehension & 4th degree tampering with physical evidence. His sentencing will be adjourned until later in the year, pending McAtasney’s trial. Testified at LMc's trial.


     
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  11. JerseyGirl

    JerseyGirl Staff Member Staff Member Forum Coordinators

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  12. inmyhumbleopinion

    inmyhumbleopinion #NeverGivingUp

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    It was likely provided to the state by discovery and Judge English ruled that it can be played at trial, IMO:

    “RULES GOVERNING THE COURTS OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY
    RULE 4:18. DISCOVERY AND INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS AND PROPERTY; COPIES OF DOCUMENTS

    4:18-1. Production of Documents, Electronically Stored Information, and Things and Entry Upon Land for Inspection and Other Purposes; Pre-Litigation Discovery

    a) Scope. Any party may serve on any other party a request (1) to produce and permit the party making the request, or someone acting on behalf of that party, to inspect, copy, test, or sample any designated documents (including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, sound recordings, images, electronically stored information, and any other data or data compilations stored in any medium from which information can be obtained and translated, if necessary, by the respondent into reasonably usable form), or to inspect, copy, test, or sample any designated tangible things that constitute or contain matters within the scope of R. 4:10-2 and that are in the possession, custody or control of the party on whom the request is served ....” (BBM)
    https://www.njcourts.gov/attorneys/assets/rules/r4-18.pdf
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  13. inmyhumbleopinion

    inmyhumbleopinion #NeverGivingUp

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    “We await closing arguments in the Sarah Stern murder trial this morning in in Monmouth County. The jury could begin deliberations as soon as today.
    @News12NJ #njmornings @CarissaLawson @KristinaBehr” (BBM)
    Jim Murdoch News12NJ on Twitter
     
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  14. inmyhumbleopinion

    inmyhumbleopinion #NeverGivingUp

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    “Trial summations are set to begin at 9a in the trial of Liam McAtasney, accused of the 2016 murder of missing teen Sarah Stern. AP Christopher Decker is set to sum up the case for jurors in the courtroom of Judge Richard English #mcponj”
    Monmouth Prosecutor on Twitter
     
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  15. Kavya01

    Kavya01 Well-Known Member

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    The song for Sarah posted under the Monmouth Prosecutor tweet made me weep.
    So beautiful. RIP, Sarah Stern. We are following the path toward your justice so closely!
     
  16. Gnatcatcher

    Gnatcatcher Well-Known Member

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    That defense was a sorry excuse for having held the trial in the first place. All the money spent, all the tears shed, all the gory details we can't unhear now. All for a couple of liars and a "I rest my case". Darn it. I hate this kid.

    Hang on, sweet Sarah. Hang in there honey.
     
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  17. dalailambo

    dalailambo Former Member

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    #justiceforsarah
     
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  18. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

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  19. inmyhumbleopinion

    inmyhumbleopinion #NeverGivingUp

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    So far, there has been absolutely nothing! I will post as soon as I see something. I have been on pins and needles!
     
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  20. jleighb

    jleighb Member

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    The suspense all day is terrible! What is taking so long?
     

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