Crime South Carolina man gets life behind bars for killing college student who mistook his car for Uber ride
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A South Carolina man has been sentenced to life behind bars for the 2019 murder of a South Carolina University student, who willingly stepped into his vehicle after mistaking it for her Uber home.
Nathaniel Rowland on Tuesday learned he would spend the rest of his life in prison, shortly after jurors found him guilty of stabbing Sarah Josephson 120 times on March 29, 2019. Early that morning, Josephson got into the back of his Chevrolet Impala, thinking it would take her back to her apartment, and then sped away from Columbia’s Five Points entertainment district.
By the time she realized Rowland was not an Uber driver, it was too late — she was already trapped inside the vehicle by the backseat’s childproof locks, investigators said.
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Defendant Nathaniel Rowland sits with his attorney Alicia Goode during closing arguments in his trial on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Richland County Circuit Court in Columbia, S.C. Rowland was convicted Tuesday for the 2019 abduction and murder of a 21-year-old college student Samantha Josephson, who mistook his car for her Uber ride. (Tracy Glantz/)
The 21-year-old’s body was later found by hunters in a remote wooded area about 65 miles from Columbia.
Defense for ‘Fake Uber Driver’ Accused of Murdering College Student Claims DNA Evidence Not Linked to Client
A murdered college student fought back before her death in 2019, picking up DNA evidence from multiple people other than the man on trial for allegedly killing her, a defense lawyer said during opening statements on Tuesday. The post Defense for ‘Fake Uber Driver’ Accused of Murdering College Student Claims DNA Evidence Not Linked to Client first appeared on Law & Crime.Nathaniel David Rowland, 27, took 21-year-old Samantha Josephson’s life, said prosecutors in Richland County, South Carolina. According to authorities, Rowland pretended to be Josephson’s Uber driver after she left a get-together in the early morning of March 29, 2019.
“Her dreams were my dreams, and her death was my death. I close my eyes, and I feel what she endured at his hands,” the victim’s mother, Marci Josephson, said during the sentencing phase of Rowland’s trial.
Ahead of his sentencing Rowland continued to maintain his innocence, but Circuit Judge Clifton Newman said Josephson’s struggle for survival provided authorities the clues they needed to send him to jail, according to the
“She obviously put up an amazing fight against you and left a sufficient trail for the jury to see what you did,” Newman said.
During the week-long trial, prosecutors called on experts who linked Josephson’s blood to the interior of Rowland’s car and the suspected murder weapon, a knife with two blades. Her blood was also found on cleaning supplies in the trash, tossed behind a home belonging to suspect’s girlfriend at the time, as well as on one of Rowland’s socks and a bandana, they testified.
The defense called no witnesses, and Rowland did not testify. His legal team dubbed all of the evidence raised against him circumstantial.
Rowland was also convicted on Tuesday of kidnapping, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
Josephson’s death sparked widespread scrutiny on the safety of ride-sharing apps and what measures can be taken to ensure passenger well-being.
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