Nathaniel Rowland was found guilty in the violent murder of 21-year-old Samantha Josephson after a jury deliberated for less than an hour on Tuesday.
The University of South Carolina student was abducted and stabbed roughly 120 times after she got into Rowland’s car thinking it was an Uber ride in 2019.
Watch: Man Convicted Of Killing New Jersey Native Samantha Josephson Who Mistook Car For Uber In 2019
Ahead of Rowland’s sentencing, the victim’s mother Marci Josephson gave a harrowing six minute victim impact statement in which she hit out at the killer.
“Her dreams were my dreams, and her death was my death. I close my eyes, and I feel what she endured at his hands,” Ms Josephson said.
She continued: “I close my eyes and I feel what she endured at his hands, 120 times, over and over and over, fighting for her life locked in his car.”
The young woman became trapped in Rowland’s vehicle when he put the child safety locks on, investigators said during the trial.
Her body was found severely mutilated in remote woods about 65 miles (105 kilometers) from Columbia.
“I despise everything about him. His eyes glaring at my family through the trial told me everything I already knew about him. He is pure evil,” Ms Josephson reportedly said.
The grieving mother continued: “He’s a monster, he’s evil and pathetic. The excruciating pain he put my daughter through is unimaginable. I am shattered, angry and heartbroken.”
Experts linked the victim’s blood to the inside of Rowland’s Chevrolet Impala and to a double-bladed knife which he is suspected to have used to kill the young student.
Experts said her blood was also found on cleaning supplies discarded behind Rowland’s then-girlfriends residence and on small pieces of clothing owned by him.
Rowland maintained his innocence throughout the trial and his defence attorneys pointed out that scientists weren’t absolutely certain Rowland’s DNA was on the knife.
Circuit Judge Clifton Newman rejected a request by the defence to throw out the case and noted that a host of direct and circumstantial evidence pointed to Rowland.
His ruthless, violent act took a bright light out of my universe and changed many lives forever,” Ms Josephson said. “Samantha fought for her life because her life was worth fighting for.”
She added: I pray that he feels Samantha’s pain. I pray that he get what he deserves under the law. I pray that he never has a chance to hurt anyone else.”
Judge Newman sentenced Rowland to life in prison. A person convicted of murder is not eligible for parole in South Carolina.
Additional reporting by the Associated Press
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