Despite protests from Nathaniel Rowland, his attorneys and family, the man who murdered Samantha Josephson’s family received a “fair trial,” the top prosecutor said Tuesday.
Evidence brought forth by prosecutors included finding Josephson’s DNA in the back of Rowland’s car, tracking Rowland’s phone to and from the place where Josephson’s body was found, surveillance video showing Rowland trying to sell Josephson’s phone after she was killed, and more.
Following the trial, 5th Circuit Solicitor Byron Gipson addressed questions from news reporters. In that, he addressed statements from Rowland who said he was innocent.
“With all due respect to Mr. Rowland, the jury has spoken,” Gipson said. “How he feels about the evidence isn’t really my concern. I’m more concerned about how the Josephson family feels. He received a fair trial.”
Gipson took other questions, where he confirmed that despite the brutality of the crime, Josephson and Rowland did not appear to know each other
“It was absolutely a random act of violence,” Gipson said.
Asked what Rowland’s motive was for murdering a random college student whom he evidently never met, Gipson said, “That’s one of those questions Mr. Rowland would have to answer at some point in time.”
Judge Clifton Newman sentenced Rowland to life in prison following the gristly murder of Samantha Josephson. A jury found Newman guilty of murder, kidnapping and a weapons charge after Samantha Josephson mistakenly got in Rowland’s car thinking it was her Uber.
Josephson’s murder, as detailed by expert witnesses and investigators, was especially horrific, even for a murder. Rowland stabbed her 120 times, including in the eye, eye socket, throat, back, through the hand and the bottom of her foot. The murder weapon was a handheld multi-tool that had both of its blades extended.
Gipson said the case “galvanized” his office and that the solicitor’s office was pleased with the outcome.
“For those who are out there doing these heinous things, we’re going to get into the courtroom and we’re going to fight,” Gipson said.