Prosecutors say evidence shows man killed student who mistook car for Uber; his attorneys say DNA is not a match


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WBTW) — Prosecutors say there’s ample evidence to convict the South Carolina man accused of killing a woman who mistook his car for her Uber ride.

Nathaniel Rowland

Nathaniel Rowland is standing trial for kidnapping and murder charges in the 2019 death of 21-year-old Samantha Josephson of Robbinsville, New Jersey.

Prosecutors said Tuesday the University of South Carolina student got into Rowland’s car and was trapped because he had turned on the child locks in his backseat so the doors could only be opened from the outside.

Rowland’s attorneys say none of the DNA evidence on the victim’s body matches Rowland’s.

He could face up to life in prison if convicted. The trial is being held in Columbia.

On March 29, 2019, Josephson summoned an Uber after a night out in the Five Points district of Columbia.

The tragedy shocked the Columbia community, state and country. Her family, the University of South Carolina, state lawmakers and others haven taken steps to make sure something like this could never happen again.

Just a few weeks after her death in 2019, state lawmakers passed the Samantha L. Josephson Ridesharing Safety Act. The law requires drivers in the state to display their license plate number on the front of their vehicle while picking up passengers.

The act also made it a crime to impersonate a rideshare driver in South Carolina. According to the law, anyone who misrepresents themselves as a driver is guilty of a misdemeanor. They could be fined up to $500 and end up in jail for up to 30 days.

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