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July 28, 2021

Man gets life sentence for killing New Jersey woman who mistook his car for Uber

Samantha Josephson, from Robbinsville, was a senior at the University of South Carolina, at the time, with plans to attend Drexel for law school

Courts Homicides
Samantha Josephson murder sentence Source/COLUMBUS POLICE DEPARTMENT

Samantha Josephson, a 21-year-old college student from Robbinsville, New Jersey and a student at the University of South Carolina, was kidnapped and killed in March 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina. On Tuesday, July 27, 2021, Nathaniel Rowland was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of abducting and murdering Josephson.

A South Carolina man will spend the rest of his life in prison after being found guilty of abducting and killing a 21-year-old woman from New Jersey who mistook his car for her Uber ride.

Samantha Josephson, a senior at the University of South Carolina from Mercer County, disappeared in March 2019 from the Five Points entertainment district in Columbia, South Carolina, According to a report from the Associated Press, her body was found with more than 100 stab wounds in remote woods about 65 miles away.

Nathaniel Rowland, 24, was convicted of killing Josephson and sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday. According to the Associated Press, prosecutors said Josephson got into Rowland’s car thinking it was an Uber ride that would take her back to her apartment. She was trapped, however, because Rowland had childproof locks on.

A person convicted of murder is not eligible for parole in South Carolina, the AP reported.

Rowland maintained his innocence before being sentenced. But investigators linked Josephson’s blood to the interior of his car and to the alleged murder weapon, a knife with two blades. Cellphone tracking data also pinpointed Rowland’s location on the night of the crime, the Associated Press reported.

"She obviously put up an amazing fight against you and left a sufficient trail for the jury to see what you did," Circuit Judge Clifton Newman told Rowland in court Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

Josephson, originally from Robbinsville, was studying political science and had plans to attend law school at Drexel University, according to a report from The State.

"Her dreams were my dreams, and her death was my death. I close my eyes, and I feel what she endured at his hands," said Josephson's mother, Marci Josephson.