Rowland trial live updates: Prosecutors continue detailing Josephson’s murder

·2 min read

Prosecutors continue laying out their case against Nathaniel Rowland — the 27-year-old Columbia man accused of killing University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson — on day six of his trial Monday.

Josephson’s case gained nation attention after it was reported that she was killed after mistakenly getting into a car that was not her Uber while out celebrating in Five Points, the entertainment district in Columbia most frequented by USC students. Her body was found hours later dumped in a wooded area 60 miles from Columbia.

Pathologist describes Josephon’s injuries

10:15 a.m.

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The trial started off with a bang as defendant Nathaniel Rowland tried to fire his attorneys during jury selection Monday. His request was denied by Judge Clifton Newman.

After powering through jury selection on Monday, prosecutors and the defense team delivered their opening statements on Tuesday.

In his statement, prosecutor Byron Gipson told jurors that Samantha Josephson, a USC student killed in 2019 after getting in what she thought was an Uber, was stabbed more than 100 times. The prosecution argued Rowland was guilty because they found Josephson’s blood in his car alongside cleaning supplies, the murder weapon matched a similar tool Rowland had, Rowland tried to sell Josephson’s phone after she went missing, Josephson’s phone and keys were found in his car, and more.

Public defender Alicia Goode, on the defense team for Rowland, told jurors that Rowland was innocent and there was no DNA evidence Josephson’s body or clothes that specifically links Rowland to her killing. The added that, despite the one hundred stab wounds, there were no bruises or marks on Rowland one might expect from such a struggle.

On Tuesday, the former girlfriend of the man accused of murdering Samantha Josephson testified Wednesday afternoon she saw him cleaning a knife and blood out of his car hours after the late student’s death.

On Wednesday, prosecutors put the man who found Josephson’s body on the stand. And in the afternoon, a woman who said she was a former girlfriend of Rowland told the jury she saw blood in his car the day after Josephson’s death and saw Rowland using surgical gloves and wipes to clean a multi-tool.

Nathaniel Rowland sits between his attorneys, Robert Pillinger, left, Alicia Goode and Tracy Pinnock during his trial on Friday, July 23, 2021 in Richland County Circuit Court. Rowland is accused of killing Samantha Josephson after luring her into his car.
Nathaniel Rowland sits between his attorneys, Robert Pillinger, left, Alicia Goode and Tracy Pinnock during his trial on Friday, July 23, 2021 in Richland County Circuit Court. Rowland is accused of killing Samantha Josephson after luring her into his car.

That multi-tool was shown to the jury Thursday by State Law Enforcement agent Dalila Cirencione, who announced that it was the suspected murder weapon. Cirencione was one of about 20 witnesses called Thursday, most of which included investigators and law enforcement. The defense was given the opportunity to cross examine them.

On Friday, prosecutors continued to lay out their case, bringing in blood, cell phone tracking and DNA experts. Among the strongest pieces of evidence presented Friday was the fact that Josephson’s DNA was found on both the suspected murder weapon and underneath Rowland’s nails.

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