A University of South Carolina student who was killed by a man who allegedly attacked her after she mistook his car for her Uber ride had more than 100 stab wounds, a pathologist testified Monday.
Samantha Josephson had just a little more than a tablespoon of blood in her body after the attack, making it difficult for workers at her autopsy to collect enough blood for routine testing. The human body typically has at least a gallon of blood, according to Dr. Thomas Beaver, who examined Josephson’s body after death.
Nathaniel Rowland, the man accused of murdering Josephson, is in the second week of his trial for the murder and kidnapping of Josephson. Beaver spent an hour fleshing out the 120 separate stab wounds on Josephson’s body, but said that the exact number is unknown because of the quantity of the injuries.
“It gets to a point where it really doesn’t add much to the report,” said Beaver, a pathologist at the Medical University of South Carolina.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
Beaver said almost all the stab wounds were to Josephson’s head, arms, chest and back, adding several of the wounds would have penetrated into her brain or neck and been fatal. He took 170 photos and 13 X-rays.
“There were a lot of injuries,” Beaver said.
Josephson got into Rowland’s car in March 2019 thinking it was her Uber ride back to her house, prosecutors said. Instead, the University of South Carolina student from Robbinsville, N.J., found herself trapped in the back seat because Rowland had the childproof lock on, investigators said.
Prosecutors have taken a methodical approach to the entire trial. Before Beaver took the stand, they linked Josephson’s blood to areas all over Rowland’s Chevrolet Impala, a knife with two blades and cleaning supplies in the trash behind his girlfriend’s home and on a sock and bandana owned by Rowland.
The prosecution has introduced a mountain of other scientific evidence, from matching a footprint found on a rear window of Rowland’s vehicle to Josephson, to cellphone data showing he was in the area where her body was found some 65 miles from where she was last seen in Columbia’s Five Points entertainment district.
Another witness said DNA found under Rowland’s fingernails matched Josephson’s genetic material.
In previous testimony, Rowland’s attorneys have pointed out scientists weren’t absolutely certain Rowland’s DNA was on the knife and his genetic material wasn’t in other places it might be expected.
Their questioning has also shown that while Josephson appeared to fight her attacker — she had several stab wounds that went all the way through her hands — none of Rowland’s DNA was found on her or under her fingernails and no visible marks were found on Rowland after his arrest.
Beaver testified he was certain the knife with two blades taken from the trash can of Rowland’s girlfriend was used to kill Josephson. But on cross-examination, Beaver told a defense attorney that he Googled hundreds of pictures of knives after the autopsy to figure out what could have caused the unique wounds and sent investigators a photo of a different-looking weapon.
Rowland faces up to life in prison if convicted. Prosecutors did not choose to seek the death penalty.
Josephson’s death turned a national spotlight on ride-hailing safety and led to some changes, including more prominent displays of driver’s license plates. It is being streamed across the country by Court TV.
That’s sick to attack someone for no reason and to cause so much damage to her body, he deserves the death penalty why should we support his sorry ass.
His life should have been taken immediately upon arrest. Its one thing to THINK or surmise its quite another to KNOW