The man accused of posing as an Uber driver before he allegedly kidnapped and killed 21-year-old University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson was denied bond Tuesday by a Richland County Judge in a virtual court hearing.
Brutal and horrifying details were revealed in the bond hearing broadcasted by WIS News Tuesday morning.
Samantha Josephson was last seen in the Five Points area getting into a vehicle she thought was her Uber ride around 2 a.m March 29, 2019. Her body was found later than afternoon by turkey hunters near the town of New Zion — which is roughly an hour-and-a-half drive from downtown Columbia, S.C — less than two miles from her accused killer’s home.
Samantha Josephson was stabbed more than 30 times with a “bladed weapon,” after she was kidnapped from the Five Points area of Columbia South Carolina on March 29, 2019, members for the prosecution told the judge over and over in the hearing. They said she had stab wounds from her feet to her face.
Marci Josephson, Samantha’s mother, begged the court in emotional testimony to not allow bond for her daughter’s accused killer and kidnapper Nathaniel David Rowland of New Zion, S.C.
“No words to describe the immense pain his actions have caused our family and friends. He brutally kidnapped and murdered my daughter, my baby. He locked her in the car without any way to escape,” Marci Josephson said. “He stole my chance of identifying her in the morgue due to the amount of torture he put her through. She was only identified from DNA.”
Marci called Rowland “sick and evil” and said he is a “danger to society.”
The prosecution presented a pile of evidence stacked up against Rowland, including:
- Samantha’s blood and hair found in his car.
- Rowland seen on video using Samantha’s debit card and attempting to sell her phone in the hours after her death.
- Samantha’s blood found on his clothes that he was seen wearing on the night of her murder.
- The murder weapon was found at a home Rowland had visited that evening.
- Cleaning products and rubber gloves found at his home.
- Child safety lock was on in the car he was driving.
- Video showed Samantha getting into Rowland’s black Chevy Impala.
- Cell phone evidence tracked Rowland and Josephson’s phones in the same locations, including where the body was located.
Detectives also found a footprint in the car on the window belonging to Samantha — evidence showing she fought for her life in her last moments.
Samantha’s father Seymour Josephson called Rowland a “monster.”
“How can this monster ask to go out on bail? There is no reason,” Seymour Josephson said at the hearing. “There is no pandemic or case that can be made to allow this person to have bail.”
The prosecution did not mention a motive — which has been a puzzling question in this case as there is no known link between Josephson and Rowland.
An attorney for Rowland argued that he had never been convicted of a crime before, he is not a flight risk, and he is innocent until proven guilty.
The judge found that Rowland is a danger to the community and for that reason he was denied bond.
He will remain at the Richland County jail, where he has been behind bars since he was first arrested for the murder and kidnapping of Samantha Josephson.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Mandy Matney is the news director at FITSNews. She’s an award-winning journalist from Kansas who has worked for newspapers in Missouri, Illinois, and South Carolina before making the switch to FITS. She currently lives on Hilton Head Island where she enjoys beach life. Want to contact Mandy? Send your story ideas, comments, suggestions and tips to [email protected].
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