A jury convicted a person Tuesday of murdering a South Carolina college or university college student who mistook him for her Uber driver all through a night out two yrs in the past, and a judge sentenced him to existence in jail moments later.
The guy, Nathaniel David Rowland, was discovered responsible of murdering and kidnapping Samantha Josephson, as well as becoming in possession of a weapon for the duration of a violent crime. The jury returned with a unanimous verdict after two several hours of deliberations, NBC affiliate WIS of Columbia described.
Point out Circuit Choose Clifton Newman sentenced Rowland immediately just after his conviction.
“For whoever questioned me for leniency, that’s not aspect of my DNA,” mentioned Newton, who sentenced Rowland to lifetime in prison.
Rowland, who was allowed to communicate throughout the sentencing proceeding, taken care of his innocence.
“But I guess what I know and what I believe seriously will not make any difference,” Rowland stated. “I just desire the state would have finished a lot more getting out who the genuine person was instead of detaining me and proving my guilt.”
Newton characterized Rowland as staying “heartless” and explained the situation was the “most severe” murder he has found in courtroom just before. He additional that all streets of evidence pointed to Rowland and that he was pleased with the prosecution’s presentation.
“There’s a thousand trails each individual that led to you,” Newton claimed. “All of the proof, every single speck of the evidence — not simply over and above a affordable question, but as the optimum normal the regulation requires — all points to your guilt.”
Josephson, 21, was out with pals in Columbia in 2019 when she mistakenly entered the incorrect vehicle and vanished. Her roommates, who had been out with her that night time but bought separated, filed a lacking person’s report with Columbia law enforcement immediately after they ended up unable to achieve her the subsequent afternoon.
She was identified lifeless by two hunters in a wooded space off a grime highway in Clarendon County, about 65 miles from Columbia, with wounds to her head, her neck, her encounter, her higher body, a leg and a foot.
Josephson, a indigenous of New Jersey, was months shy of graduating with a degree in political science and planned to carry on her education and learning by attending regulation school.
Prosecutors argued in courtroom previous week that Rowland “experienced his eyes firmly fixed on Samantha Josephson” as she remaining the Chook Dog Lounge alone to get her Uber experience property.
Fifth Circuit Solicitor Byron Gipson told jurors that they would be shown security online video, cellphone tracking information, the murder weapon and other incriminating proof that would guide to a finding of responsible.
“It really is those people intentional, deliberate, heinous, cruel and destructive acts that Nathaniel David Rowland has been indicted for kidnapping Samantha Josephson,” Gipson mentioned.
Josephson’s blood and cellphone have been uncovered in Rowland’s automobile, a black Chevrolet Impala, officers stated. Investigators mentioned they feel that right after she mistakenly entered the car or truck, she was unable to escape due to the fact Rowland’s youngster-safety locks ended up activated.
Rowland’s protection legal professional, Tracy Pinnock, argued that crime-scene investigators failed to locate any DNA proof linking Rowland to the slaying.
“Girls and gentlemen, I want you to listen to this quantity yet again, and that is zero,” Pinnock said. “That’s the total of DNA on Samantha Josephson’s overall body that matches Nathaniel Rowland. Zero. It truly is not on her clothing. It really is not below her ripped and torn fingernails. It is really not on her ankles.”