A witness said the South Carolina man accused of killing a woman who mistook her vehicle for her Uber ride then washed the car’s blood with bleach.
Nathaniel Rowland is on trial for kidnapping and murder in the death of 21-year-old Samantha Josephson. The University of South Carolina student in Robbinsville, New Jersey disappeared from Columbia’s Five Points entertainment district one night in March 2019. It was spring before she was about to go. ” graduate and go to law school.
Prosecutors said surveillance camera footage showed Josephson entering Rowland’s black Chevrolet Impala. His body – covered with stab wounds, cuts and other abrasions – was later found dumped in woods about 65 miles (105 kilometers) from Columbia. Other evidence presented by prosecutors includes phone tracking data and video footage showing Rowland trying to use the victim’s debit card and sell his cell phone.
During the second day of trial testimony at the Richland County Judicial Center in Colombia, a woman who was dating Rowland at the time said he was late to drive her to work the morning after Josephson went missing.
Maria Howard said after Rowland arrived at her house she noticed blood inside the car and watched him clean the car while wearing surgical gloves that day. Howard also said she saw Rowland clean up a “knife-like” tool that prosecutors previously identified as the murder weapon.
Howard remembers Rowland telling her to “mind my own business” when she asked about blood.
Other witnesses on the stand on Wednesday included the turkey hunter who found Josephson’s body in isolated woods around New Zion, South Carolina, which is also Rowland’s hometown.
Several police officers also testified to Rowland’s arrest during a traffic stop near the same entertainment district less than a day after Josephson was first caught on camera getting into his car. Body camera footage released in court on Wednesday showed officers searching Rowland’s car where they found a rose gold iPhone, cleaning supplies and blood in the car. Authorities said the phone and blood belonged to Josephson.
Among the first witnesses called Tuesday at the start of the trial were Josephson’s former boyfriend and roommate, who described the frantic search for her after her disappearance.
Josephson’s death has drawn national attention to safety concerns around ridesharing services and prompted some changes. South Carolina lawmakers have passed a measure that requires drivers to make license plate numbers visible on the front of their vehicles and creates criminal penalties for people posing as taxi drivers.