Man on trial accused of murdering girl who mistook him for her Uber driver | US Information

A South Carolina man has gone on trial accused of killing a lady who acquired into his automobile considering it was her Uber journey.

Nathaniel Rowland is accused of the kidnap and homicide of 21-year-old college pupil Samantha Josephson in March 2019.

Ms Josephson’s loss of life prompted modifications geared toward bettering security for these utilizing companies similar to Uber.

These included a state regulation requiring drivers to make license plate numbers seen within the entrance of their automobiles and legal penalties for many who impersonate ride-hailing drivers.

Ms Josephson, from New Jersey, was attributable to graduate from the College of South Carolina and go on to regulation faculty.

She had been within the 5 Factors leisure district within the South Carolina metropolis of Columbia when she acquired into the again of Rowland’s black Chevrolet Impala.

Prosecutors stated he had gone across the block quite a few occasions earlier than pulling up beside Ms Josephson, who had been ready alone for her journey.

As soon as she was contained in the automobile, Rowland turned on the kid locks, that means the doorways may solely be opened from the skin, successfully trapping Ms Josephson, it’s alleged.

Her physique was discovered coated with stab wounds, cuts and different accidents, dumped in woodland about 65 miles from the town.

Prosecutors say they’ve cellphone monitoring proof and video footage of Rowland making an attempt to make use of Ms Josephson’s debit card and promote her cell phone after her disappearance.

In addition they instructed the courtroom that investigators tracked telephones belonging to Ms Josephson and Rowland and located them travelling collectively for about 20 minutes earlier than her cellphone switched off.

His cellphone stayed on all the way in which to New Zion – his residence city and the place the place Ms Josephson’s physique was discovered.

Rowland, who denies all fees, has been in jail since he was arrested the day after Ms Josephson disappeared.

If he’s convicted of her homicide he may face life in jail.

Through the trial’s second day, the courtroom heard from Maria Howard, who had been courting Rowland on the time of Ms Josephson’s loss of life.

Ms Howard stated she had seen blood inside his automobile and that she had watched him clear it whereas sporting surgical gloves.

She additionally stated she noticed him clear a “knife-like” device that prosecutors have stated was the homicide weapon.

Law enforcement officials additionally instructed the courtroom that once they searched Rowland’s automobile, they discovered a rose gold iPhone – thought to belong to Ms Josephson, cleansing provides, and blood.

Earlier within the trial, Rowland’s lawyer Alicia Goode instructed the courtroom that, though there was proof Ms Josephson tried to struggle her killer, not one of the DNA gathered from her physique matched the accused.

“It isn’t on her clothes, not beneath her ripped and torn fingernails, it is not on her ankles,” Ms Goode stated.

The trial continues.

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