Prosecutors: Man killed student who mistook car for Uber

Prosecutors: Man killed student who mistook car for Uber


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina man accused of killing the woman who mistook his car for her Uber ride trapped her in the vehicle hours before her body, riddled with stab wounds, was dumped near his family home, prosecutors argued in court Tuesday.

Nathaniel Rowland is on trial for the kidnapping and murder of 21-year-old Samantha Josephson. The University of South Carolina student from Robbinsville, New Jersey, disappeared from Columbia’s Five Points entertainment district one night in March 2019, the spring before she was set to graduate and head to law school.

At opening arguments in Richland County Judicial Center in Columbia, prosecutors previewed evidence and testimony — from surveillance camera footage of Josephson entering Rowland's car to a witness who allegedly watched Rowland clean the blade he used to repeatedly stab Josephson — that would implicate Rowland in the crime.

Fifth Circuit Solicitor Byron Gipson said cameras in the entertainment district captured Rowland circling the block multiple times in his black Chevrolet Impala before pulling up to Josephson, who was waiting alone. Josephson entered the car, and it was the last time she was seen alive, the prosecutor said.

“As she stood there waiting for that Uber, he had his eyes firmly transfixed on her,” Gipson said.

Once inside, Josephson was trapped because Rowland had turned on the child locks in his backseat so the doors could only be opened from the outside, prosecutors said.

Rowland, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, has been in the Richland County jail since his arrest a day after Josephson's disappearance. He could face up to life in prison if convicted of murder.

Gipson said more than 100 stab wounds, cuts and other abrasions were found across Josephson's body, which was...

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