Prosecution and defense rests their case in Rowland kidnapping & murder trial

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – The State of South Carolina and defense rested their case in the kidnapping and murder trial of Nathaniel Rowland on Monday.

Police said Rowland killed 21-year-old Samantha Josephson after she got into his vehicle believing it was her Uber ride in March 2019.

The prosecution called a handful of witnesses to the stand over the last six days. Monday morning, they called a pathologist with the Medical University of South Carolina to speak to jurors.

The pathologist helped perform the autopsy on Josephson’s body after turkey hunters found her body in rural Clarendon County, near New Zion, he said.

According to the expert, Josephson’s body had was stabbed more than 100 times and could have been stabbed up to 120 times. He told jurors, “It gets to the point where it really does add much to the report.”

The pathologist testified he took over 170 photos and 13 X-Rays of Josephson’s body. The X-Rays are to find pieces of a knife that may have broken off in the bone of a victim.

He told jurors she was stabbed in the head, arms, hand, back, chest and neck. Some of those wounds to her neck or head could have been fatal he testified.

The pathologist said he noticed some of the cuts on her body were parallel. He said this was ‘unique’.

He told jurors he googled thousands of photos of knives trying to find something with parallel blades.

Attorneys with the prosecution handed him the multi-tool found in a trash bin in the back porch of Rowland’s ex-girlfriend’s house. Friday, a DNA expert testified that their analysis ‘very strongly supports’ Josephson’s blood and DNA are on the blades of the multi-tool.

The pathologist told jurors, “The blades are bent at the tip and the size appropriate for the wounds that I saw. This is the weapon.”

According to the pathologist, the parallel cuts on Josephson’s body were made by the multi-tool.

The defense questioned the pathologist about his opinion on the murder weapon. He said he believed he found an image of what could have caused the parallel stab wounds. He sent an image of what he believed could have been the murder weapon to investigators. He said he did not know about the multi-tool until last week.

Monday afternoon, a video analyst testified. He went over dozens of videos that showed Nathaniel Rowland’s vehicle, a black Chevy Impala.

The vehicle was seen circling the Five Points area the night Josephson was kidnapped and murdered around 2 am. It can be seen on video driving away from the Five Points area after Josephson entered the rear passenger side of the vehicle.

The defense questioned the analyst whether or not it was indeed Rowland driving the vehicle. The analyst said the video did not show who was behind the wheel.

At around 3:10p Monday, the judge adjourned for the day. Jurors will return at 9:30 Tuesday for closing arguments and deliberations.

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