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A South Carolina man was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for abducting and killing a college student who mistakenly entered his car thinking it was her Uber.
The sentencing of Nathaniel Rowland, 27, came the same day jurors found him guilty of the March 2019 murder of Samantha Josephson, a 21-year-old University of South Carolina senior.
Josephson, a New Jersey native, hopped into Rowland’s car after a night out in Columbia’s Five Points entertainment district, assuming he would take her back to her apartment, prosecutors said.
But she was later found dead about 65 miles away with 120 stab wounds.
“Her dreams were my dreams, and her death was my death. I close my eyes, and I feel what she endured at his hands,” the victim’s mother, Marci Josephson, said at Tuesday’s sentencing.
During the week-long trial, experts called by the prosecution linked Josephson’s blood to the inside of Rowland’s car and to the knife allegedly used in the murder.
The victim’s blood was also found on Rowland’s bandana and a sock, experts testified, as well as on cleaning supplies in the garbage behind his ex-girlfriend’s house.
The judge who sentenced Rowland said Tuesday: “She obviously put up an amazing fight against you and left a sufficient trail for the jury to see what you did.”
Rowland maintained his innocence before being sentenced. His attorneys pointed out that scientists weren’t absolutely certain Rowland’s DNA was on the knife.
They also noted that none of Rowland’s DNA was found on her body — and he didn’t have any visible signs of being in a fight, despite the victim appearing to have put up a struggle.
With Post wires
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