Mistaken Uber Case: Mom Breaks Down in Court at Sentencing of Daughter's Killer

In 2019, Samantha Josephson was killed after getting into a car she thought was her Uber. The brutal murder prompted new safety initiatives among ride-share apps.

It was an emotional day in court as the man convicted of killing a college student who mistook his car for her Uber was sentenced to life in prison.

In 2019, 21-year-old Samantha Josephson was just weeks away from graduating college at University of South Carolina. Surveillance video captured the heartbreaking moment she climbed into Nathaniel Rowland’s backseat.

Rowland used the child-lock to trap Josephson. She was stabbed 120 times

“I was planning my trip to [the city of] Columbia in 2019 to watch my daughter graduate from college. Instead, I went to Columbia to gather her belongings,” Josephson’s grieving mother, Marci, said during victim-impact statements at the court hearing.

“I close my eyes and I feel what she endured at his hands. Her final moments. Her bare feet kicking and fighting for her life. I visualize the blood flowing from her body,” Marci continued.

The brutal murder changed the way people approach safety on ride-share apps, with it now common to check the license plate of your Uber or Lyft, and expect drivers to say the prospective passenger’s name.

Rowland insisted he was not guilty.

“I know I'm innocent. But I guess what I know and what I think really doesn't matter,” Rowland said.

That only angered Judge Clifton Newman, who cited the overwhelming video evidence. 

“There were a thousand roads. Each road led to you. There were a thousand trails. Each trail led to you,” Newman said.

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