What to Know
- A judge has denied a defense request for a mistrial in proceedings against a man accused of strangling former classmate Sarah Stern
- The defense had requested a mistrial after a female juror was dismissed over a Facebook post
- The judge spoke individually with each juror about the post and the juror's dismissal
A judge has denied a defense request for a mistrial in proceedings against a man accused of strangling former high school classmate Sarah Stern during a robbery and throwing her body off a bridge.
Lawyers for Liam McAtasney made the request after a juror was dismissed last week for a Facebook post in her name that made a flip comment about the trial.
The female juror was dismissed for a Facebook posting that stated, ''Sitting on the jury laughing my a— off."
The judge denied the mistrial request Thursday but said the juror will face contempt of court charges over the post. The juror has said her 15-year-old sister made the post.
The judge spoke individually with each juror about the post and the juror's dismissal.
That led to the dismissal of another juror who had contacted the dismissed juror when she didn't show up to court earlier this week.
The trial for McAtasney, one of two defendants in the case of 19-year-old Stern, began in January.
Prosecutors say McAtasney and the second defendant, Preston Taylor — who took Stern to junior prom — dragged Stern's body out of her home after the murder, drove her to a bridge and tossed her into the water. Her body was never found.