Man Who Kidnapped, Killed USC Student Learns His Fate

Nathaniel Rowland gets life for 2019 murder of Samantha Josephson
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2021 5:33 PM CDT
Rowland Gets Life for Murder of USC Student
Defendant Nathaniel Rowland sits with his attorney Alicia Goode during closing arguments in his trial on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Richland County Circuit Court in Columbia, SC.   (Tracy Glantz/The State via AP)

A jury took a little over an hour to find Nathaniel David Rowland guilty of Samantha Josephson's murder Tuesday—and Circuit Judge Clifton Newman immediately sentenced him to life in prison without parole. "For whoever asked me for leniency, that’s not part of my DNA," Newman said, per NBC. He said it was the "most severe" murder he has ever dealt with. Rowland abducted the 21-year-old University of South Carolina student and stabbed her 120 times after she got into his car in Columbia's entertainment district in March 2019, mistakenly believing it was the Uber ride she had ordered. Prosecutors said Rowland trapped Josephson in the vehicle by activating child-safety locks. Her blood and cellphone were found in his Chevrolet Impala.

Josephson's parents delivered searing impact statements Tuesday, the State reports. Her father, Seymour Josephson, said he has considered suicide multiple times and can no longer bear to look at photos or videos of his daughter. "In the end you have taken my baby away,” he told Rowland. "I will never see her graduate from college, law school, walk her down the aisle and get married," he said. "What did you get from Sam? $10? $20?" In his own statement, Rowland maintained his innocence, saying he wished "the state would have done more finding out who the actual person was." Newton, however, said the amount of evidence against Rowland was overwhelming. "There were 1,000 trails, each trail led to you," the judge told him. (More Samantha Josephson stories.)

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