A man who secretly recorded his friend admitting to murdering a classmate to steal her inheritance has spoken out, saying he doesn’t feel like the hero people are portraying him to be.
Andrew Curry, a 21-year-old filmmaker, began working with police after he became concerned that his friend, Liam McAtasney, may have had something to do with the disappearance of 19-year-old Sarah Stern in 2016.
Many have lauded Curry as a hero for securing McAtasney’s confession on tape, which was a significant contributing factor to his conviction for the murder of Stern. McAtasney admitted to strangling Stern for money she received after her mother died of cancer, then enlisting her junior prom date, Preston Taylor, to help him toss her body off of a bridge.
McAtasney was convicted last week of all seven charges against him, including first-degree murder, robbery, desecrating human remains and more after the video secretly taped of his conversation with Curry was shown in court.
“I didn’t do it for fame and notoriety,” Curry told ABC News of his decision to record McAtasney. “I was doing it to bring closure to a family.”
The murder rocked the small New Jersey town of Neptune City. Stern, 19, disappeared in December 2016, and her body has never been found. Her car was left on the side of Route 35 bridge with the keys left inside it.
Without Curry’s video, Stern’s family may have never known what happened to their daughter that night.
Curry said that because he is a filmmaker, his friend, McAtasney, used to come to him all the time with different ideas for films.
“He told me about this idea he had to kill this girl … that he was going to strangle her and throw her over the bridge with his friend,” he said. Initially, Curry wasn’t concerned that McAtasney’s idea wasn’t connected to any real fantasy. That is, however, until Stern went missing, and McAtasney began sending him strange messages on SnapChat. He told Curry that he had something he needed to tell him, and asked if the authorities had questioned him about Stern’s disappearance.
“He wanted to tell me. I think he wanted to get it off his chest. For some reason he trusted me,” Curry said. “He was happy to see me. It’s like seeing an old friend, but he was different, I don’t know. It was like somebody I never met before. It was almost like meeting a brand-new person. It was a weird, strange. He told me I was the only person in this world that knew besides Preston (Taylor).”
Taylor, who was McAtasney’s former roommate as well as Stern’s prom date, allegedly helped McAtasney throw her body off a bridge between the cities of Neptune and Belmar in New Jersey.
In the video, McAtasney can be heard saying that it took him half an hour to strangle Stern, and that her dog watched on as she died.
“The worst part of it is I thought I was walking out [with] $50,000 to $100,000 in my pocket,” McAtasney said in the video. “She had one safe that she took money out, and she only had $10,000,” he continued, saying that the money was “terrible quality … I don’t even know if I can put any of it in the f—— bank.”
McAtasney could face life in prison without the possibility of parole for Stern’s murder.
Curry said although he never feared for his own life, he was worried that harm could come to his family at McAtasney’s hands, which is why he decided to come forward. Monmouth County assistant prosecutor Meghan Doyle said that Curry was a “hero” for cooperating with police.
“[Sarah Stern’s father] Michael Stern does not get to know what happens to his daughter without Anthony Curry,” she said. “I firmly believe that he [Curry] is extremely modest about it and uncomfortable with that role, but to me, he will always be the hero and the reason we were able to bring this case to court.”
Although his inextricable link to the case won’t ever leave him, Curry knew it was the right thing to do.
“[I’ll] live with this stuff for the rest of my life,” said Curry. “Back then he was a great friend, one of my best friends. He’d give you the shirt off his back. Now, [he’s] dead, a killer.”
Fox News’ Kathleen Joyce contributed to this article.