Testimony continues in trial of man accused of kidnapping, murdering UofSC student

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – The trial for a man accused of kidnapping and murdering a University of South Carolina student in 2019 continued Wednesday.

Law enforcement allege Nathaniel Rowland killed Samantha Josephson after she got into his vehicle thinking it was her Uber ride after a night out in the Five Points district in Columbia.

Her body was found in rural Clarendon County the next morning in March 2019.

Jurors listened to hours of testimony Wednesday from law enforcement, a turkey hunter who discovered Josephson’s body and the ex-girlfriend of Rowland.

The prosecution had officers from the Columbia Police Department, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division agents detail their investigation.

They also played video of Rowland’s arrest for the jury.

According to police, Rowland was pulled over near the Five Points in Columbia the night after Josephson went missing. Dashcam and bodycam footage showed the events leading up to Rowland’s arrest and following.

A Columbia police officer says he initiated a traffic stop after a black Chevy Impala matching the vehicle description was spotted conducting an illegal turn.

When he stopped the vehicle, he spoke with Rowland briefly. The officer asked him to step out of the car and after a few seconds, Rowland ran. He was arrested after being chased by officers.

Police said in court they discovered Josephson’s cell phone in Rowland’s vehicle and found blood in the car. Crime scene investigators said this was Josephson’s blood.

Wednesday afternoon, a woman who says she was dating Rowland in 2019 said she noticed blood in the back seat of his vehicle. She said she asked him about the blood and she didn’t answer him.

According to the woman, she saw Rowland cleaning the black Chevy Impala and a sharp, knife-like object before his arrest.

Attorneys from the prosecution asked her why she didn’t call the police. She said, “Because I was scared for my life. I didn’t know what was going to happen.”

The defense alleges there is no DNA evidence discovered on Josephson’s body matching Rowland’s DNA. As of Wednesday afternoon, the state has not shared whether or not any of Rowland’s DNA was found on her body.

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