College Student Who Mistook Suspect's Car for Her Uber Was Stabbed 120 Times: Pathologist
Samantha Josephson lost so much blood in the fatal attack, medical examiners had difficulty collecting a blood sample from her remains
University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson was stabbed 120 times, according to chilling testimony provided this week by the pathologist who conducted her autopsy.
On Monday, the fifth day of testimony in the kidnapping and murder trial of 27-year-old Nathaniel Rowland ended with both the state and defense resting — clearing the way for the presentation of closing arguments today.
Prior to that, Dr. Thomas Beaver took the witness stand, telling jurors Josephson, 21, sustained several fatal wounds to the brain and neck when she was stabbed to death on March 29, 2019.
He said the woman — who vanished from Columbia, S.C., on March 29, 2019, after getting into a car she'd mistaken for her Uber ride — lost so much blood in the fatal attack, he had difficulty collecting a blood sample from her body.
Josephson was later found dead by hunters in a remote area of Clarendon County — about 65 miles away from where police believe she got into a black Chevy Impala driven by Rowland, who maintains his innocence.
During the first days of the trial, Maria Howard, the woman Rowland was dating in 2019 when the senior at the University of South Carolina went missing, told jurors she noticed blood in the back of his car.
Howard also testified that she saw Rowland using bleach to clean the car, and later saw him cleaning a knife.
Another witness earlier testified that Josephson's DNA was recovered from beneath Rowland's fingernails.
Rowland's defense lawyers noted the fact that police could find no visible marks or injuries on Rowland after arresting him, despite defensive wounds on Josephson indicating she had put up a struggle.
Rowland faces up to life in prison if convicted. Prosecutors did not choose to seek the death penalty.
Josephson was weeks away from graduating with a degree in political science when she was killed. She had planned to go to the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law in Philadelphia after her graduation.
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Her death has inspired action from state lawmakers, who filed legislation soon after her killing requiring all ride-share vehicles to display an illuminated sign featuring their company's name.
The ride-share industry has also implemented changes, like clearer displays of driver license plates, following Josephson's death.
The case is expected to be turned over to the jury within the next day.