A South Carolina antheral was sentenced to beingness successful situation Tuesday for the 2019 abduction and execution of a 21-year-old assemblage pupil who mistook his car for her Uber ride.
The assemblage took a small much than an hr to find Nathaniel Rowland blameworthy of sidesplitting Samantha Josephson, a University of South Carolina pupil who disappeared from Columbia’s Five Points amusement territory successful March 2019.
“Her dreams were my dreams, and her decease was my death. I adjacent my eyes, and I consciousness what she endured astatine his hands,” the victim’s mother, Marci Josephson, said during the sentencing signifier of Rowland’s proceedings Tuesday.
The pupil from Robbinsville, New Jersey, got into Rowland’s car reasoning it was an Uber thrust that would instrumentality her backmost to her apartment, prosecutors said. Instead, she recovered herself trapped due to the fact that Rowland had the childproof locks on, investigators said. She was ne'er seen live again.
Covered successful astir 120 stab wounds, her assemblage was aboriginal recovered successful distant woods astir 65 miles (105 kilometers) from Columbia. The decease formed a nationalist spotlight connected ride-hailing information and led to immoderate changes, including much salient displays of driver’s licence plates.
Rowland maintained his innocence earlier being sentenced, but Circuit Judge Clifton Newman noted that each the grounds pointed to Rowland.
“She evidently enactment up an astonishing combat against you and near a capable way for the assemblage to spot what you did,” Newman said aft sentencing Rowland to beingness successful prison. A idiosyncratic convicted of execution is not eligible for parole successful South Carolina.
Wearing a mask, Rowland showed small emotion arsenic Josephson's relatives reflected connected the symptom of their nonaccomplishment and however Josephson’s aboriginal – the assemblage elder was slated to be instrumentality schoolhouse connected a afloat assistance – was chopped short.
The prosecution spent astir a week presenting voluminous grounds and called astir 3 twelve witnesses. Experts linked Josephson’s humor to the interior of Rowland’s Chevrolet Impala and to the suspected execution weapon, a weapon with 2 blades. Her humor was besides recovered connected cleaning supplies successful the trash down the location of the man’s woman astatine the clip — and connected a sock and bandana owned by Rowland, the experts testified.
Other grounds included cellphone tracking information pinpointing Rowland’s determination the nighttime of the crime. One forensic idiosyncratic testified that DNA collected from Rowland’s fingernails matched the victim’s familial material, and DNA belonging to some fishy and unfortunate were recovered connected gloves besides located successful the trash.
Rowland’s defence attorneys pointed retired that scientists weren’t perfectly definite Rowland’s DNA was connected the knife. His attorneys besides argued that though Josephson appeared to combat her attacker, nary of Rowland’s DNA was recovered connected her assemblage and helium had nary disposable marks of specified a combat aft his arrest. The defence called nary witnesses, and Rowland did not testify.
Before resting the defense’s case, Rowland’s lawyer asked the charges beryllium thrown retired due to the fact that prosecutors had a circumstantial lawsuit — ne'er showing that Rowland really killed Josephson nor that helium was driving the conveyance erstwhile she disappeared.
Newman rejected the request, saying determination was an avalanche of nonstop and circumstantial grounds that a assemblage should consider.
Jeffrey Collins contributed to this report.
Liu is simply a corps subordinate for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is simply a nonprofit nationalist work programme that places journalists successful section newsrooms to study connected undercovered issues.