The Daily Gamecock

Samantha Josephson's murderer sentenced to life in prison

Nathaniel Rowland was sentenced to life in prison with no parole for the murder of former USC student Samantha Josephson on Tuesday.

The jury's verdict was unanimous. 

The jury returned after just over an hour of deliberation. Rowland was found guilty on charges of possession of a weapon during a violent crime, kidnapping and murder. Josephson was murdered in 2019 when she entered a car in Five Points she thought was her Uber. 

“The evidence in this case … I chose the word an avalanche of evidence … but the evidence in this case is so overwhelming,” Judge Clifton Newman, who presided over the trial, said.

The trial lasted just over a week and began on July 19. 

Before the sentencing, the Josephson and Rowland families gave statements. The Josephson family asked Newman for the harshest punishment possible, and the Rowland family asked for leniency.

Seymour Josephson, Samantha’s father, presented a book during his statement compiled of “impact statements,” statements of friends, family and loved ones and how they were “devastated for the last 28 months.” Newman took the book to read it.

“I still too – to this day – still can’t watch videos of Samantha. I hate looking at pictures. I have repeated nightmares and visions of him, the monster, stabbing her,” Josephson said. 

In a press conference after the trial, 5th Circuit Solicitor Byron Gipson said he was pleased with the jury’s verdict. The Josephson family was satisfied with the ruling as well, he said.

Gibson said he was “pleased for the Josephson family because this has been an opportunity for them to have a catharsis, for them to finally let a portion of this horrible chapter of their lives be closed.”

The Josephson family was unavailable for comment.

Correction (at 12:10 on July 28, 2021): This story has been updated to include the correct starting date of the trial.