Slain University of South Carolina Student Suffered 'Heinous Acts,' Prosecutors Say
Court documents by the agency revealed that Samantha Josephson, 21, sustained “numerous wounds to multiple parts of her body to include her head, neck, face, upper body, leg, and foot,” Inside Edition previously reported.
Samantha Josephson, the University of South Carolina senior who was allegedly kidnapped and brutally killed after getting into a car that she mistook for her Uber, suffered “heinous, cruel and malicious acts,” prosecutors told jurors on Tuesday during the trial of accused murderer Nathaniel Rowland, according to a published reported.
Josephson, 21, an aspiring lawyer, was out with her friends in Columbia’s Five Points entertainment district. After she got separated from her roommates she called an Uber and mistakenly got into a black Chevrolet Impala driven by Rowland, the man who prosecutors say allegedly kill her, Inside Edition Digital previously reported.
Josephson was just a few months away from graduating from the University of South Carolina before she was killed on March 29, 2019, authorities said.
Her body was discovered by turkey hunters in a remote area in Clarendon County, about 65 miles away from where police believe she had gotten picked up, WIS 10TV News.
The Clarendon County Coroner found Josephson died of “multiple sharp force injuries,” according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
Court documents by the agency revealed that Josephson sustained “numerous wounds to multiple parts of her body to include her head, neck, face, upper body, leg, and foot,” Inside Edition previously reported.
During Rowland's trial, Fifth Circuit Solicitor Byron Gipson told jurors that Josephson had 100 different stab wounds throughout her body.
He told the jurors that they would be shown security video, cellphone tracking data, the murder weapon and other additional evidence that would implicate Rowland in the killing, NBC News reported.
Gipson said Rowland traveled to the Rosewood community first.
He said the evidence will show Josephson and Rowland’s phones tracked together in the vehicle at the same time and said Rowland dumped Josephson’s body in New Zion, two miles from his family home, WINS 10 reported.
During the trial, Gipson said one of those pieces of evidence would show someone using Josephson’s Wells Fargo card. He said there were nine attempts that were unsuccessful. He also said there is evidence Rowland tried to sell Josephson’s cellphone, WINS 10 News reported.
Gipson said that the prosecution also has a "knife-bladed tool" linked to Rowland that makes cuts matching the ones found on Josephson, who was “stabbed multiple times throughout her feet, throughout her torso, throughout her face, her neck, her hands," according to Gipson, People reported.
"It's those intentional deliberate, heinous, cruel and malicious acts that Nathaniel David Rowland has been indicted for kidnapping Samantha Josephson. He's been indicted for murdering of Samantha Josephson," said Gipson, NBC News reported.
"And he's been indicted for possession of a weapon from the commission of a violent crime. And at the appropriate time, we'll ask that you return verdicts on guilty on each one of those counts," Gipson added, the news outlet reported.
The prosecutor set the scene of that fateful night, explaining to jurors how Josephine left the Bird Dog Lounge in Five Points alone after celebrating her graduation with friends as Rowland waited.
Gipson said during opening arguments the young woman was trapped inside the vehicle. He told jurors how the child locks were activated and the doors could only be opened from the outside.
During the early morning hours of March 29, surveillance footage shows Josephson on her cellphone getting into the backseat of the vehicle. Her blood and cellphone were found in Roland's car once her body was discovered in the woods, according to authorities.
Defense attorney Tracey Pinnock told jurors that investigators didn’t find any evidence connecting Rowland to Josephson’s murder, NBC reported.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I want you to hear this number again, and that is zero," Pinnock said. "That's the amount of DNA on Samantha Josephson's body that matches Nathaniel Rowland. Zero. It's not on her clothing. It's not under her ripped and torn fingernails. It's not on her ankles."
If convicted Rowland could face up to life in prison without parole, a report said.
Josephson, of Robbinsville, New Jersey, was studying political science at USC and was planning to go to Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law upon her graduation, The State reported.
Josephson’s 2019 death prompted massive changes within the industry and highlighted the importance of ride-sharing safety, including more prominent displays of drivers' licenses, plates and a requirement that drivers say the names of their passengers before they travel, according to reports.
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