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South Carolina man repeatedly stabbed scholar who mistook him for Uber driver in lethal assault: prosecutors

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A trial for the South Carolina man accused of kidnapping and killing a girl who mistook his automotive for her Uber journey started this week, with prosecutors alleging that the person stabbed the sufferer greater than 100 instances earlier than dumping her physique within the woods close to his house. 

Nathaniel Rowland is on trial for the kidnapping and homicide of 21-year-old Samantha Josephson, a regulation scholar who disappeared from Columbia’s 5 Factors leisure district one night time in March 2019. 

In opening arguments in Richland County Judicial Middle in Columbia, prosecutors previewed proof and testimony they stated would implicate Rowland. That included surveillance digicam footage of Josephson getting into Rowland’s automotive in addition to a witness who the prosecutors say allegedly watched Rowland clear the blade he used to repeatedly stab Josephson.

Defendant Nathaniel Rowland speaks with his attorney, Alicia Goode, right, during his trial in Richland County Court, Tuesday, July 20, 2021, in Columbia, S.C. 

Defendant Nathaniel Rowland speaks together with his legal professional, Alicia Goode, proper, throughout his trial in Richland County Court docket, Tuesday, July 20, 2021, in Columbia, S.C.  (The State by way of AP)

Fifth Circuit Solicitor Byron Gipson stated cameras captured Rowland circling the block a number of instances in his black Chevrolet Impala earlier than pulling as much as Josephson, who was ready alone. Josephson obtained into the automotive, and it was the final time she was seen alive, the prosecutor stated.

Gipson stated greater than 100 stab wounds, cuts and different abrasions have been discovered on Josephson’s physique, which was dumped within the woods a brief distance from Rowland’s household house. 

Alicia Goode, one in all Rowland’s public defenders, stated it was clear Josephson fought again, “kicking and punching and clawing the individual attacking her.”  

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Goode famous that investigators had amassed proof after the crime, together with swabbing Josephson’s physique and Rowland’s automotive – but not one of the DNA proof gathered from the sufferer matched Rowland.

“Zero: that is the quantity of DNA on Samantha Josephson’s physique that matches Nathaniel’s,” Goode stated. “Zero. It isn’t on her clothes, not underneath her ripped and torn fingernails, it is not on her ankles.”

Gipson, who did not deal with any potential motives for the crime, mentioned video proof exhibiting Rowland trying to make use of the sufferer’s debit card and attempting to promote her cellphone. Investigators later discovered Josephson’s blood and cellphone in Rowland’s automotive, together with bleach, window cleaner and cleansing wipes.

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Rowland, who has pleaded not responsible to the costs, has been within the Richland County jail since his arrest a day after Josephson’s disappearance. He may resist life in jail if convicted of homicide. 

Witnesses started testimony in entrance of jurors Tuesday afternoon. 

The Related Press contributed to this report

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