Rowland Trial Day 3: Gruesome evidence presented from night Samantha Josephson died

Investigators say Samantha Josephson’s clothes so damaged couldn’t tell original color
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 9:06 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:34 PM EDT
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GRAPHIC WARNING: Details included in this article may be disturbing to some readers.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Several key investigators took the stand Thursday in day three of the trial of Nathaniel Rowland.

Rowland is accused of kidnapping and killing University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson in March of 2019.

CASE BACKGROUND | Trial of man accused in UofSC student’s kidnapping, death set to begin

The victim’s family in the courtroom froze when one investigator with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) held up clothing worn by Josephson on the night she was brutally murdered.

Investigator Dawn Claycomb stood up from the stand and pulled Josephson’s clothing out of a brown paper bag.

The first piece was a blood-soaked bra the victim had on that night. Then Claycomb pulled out a lace bralette Josephson had on over her bra, that was also covered with a large amount of blood.

The investigator then pulled Josephson’s shirt out of the evidence bag and held it up. There was so much blood on the shirt the investigator said they could not tell its original color.

Claycomb also held up the wedge sandals Josephson was wearing that night, saying the shoes weren’t on her feet, only held on by the ankle strap. Those shoes were also soaked in blood.

Claycomb also showed pictures of the pants Josephson was wearing, which had several defects from alleged knife wounds.


SLED agent Delila Jazic testified that she obtained a search warrant for Maria Howard’s home. Howard was Rowland’s girlfriend at the time of the Josephson’s murder.

Jazic held up a white sheet with blood on it that she collected from Howard’s garbage can behind her condo. Other items she gathered and presented on the witness stand were a roll of duct tape and bleach wipes with blood on them.

The public defender, Ashley Goode, cross-examined Jazic asking if she documented any scratches on Rowland at the police station.

Jazic said there were no scratches at all anywhere on Rowland’s body.

SLED agent Britt Dove also took the stand. He’s a phone expert who showed where Josephson’s phone pinged the night she disappeared. He also read off a few texts from Howard’s phone to Rowland.

She was texting him that her daughter’s shoe had blood on it after they both rode in his car on the day Josephson disappeared.


The state also called Jack Jamison to testify. He’s a handwriting expert who works with SLED.

Jamison was tasked to take a piece of paper with a list on it and compare it to Rowland’s handwriting. Investigators got a sample of the suspect’s handwriting from an employee application with FedEx.

On that list, Jamison said, was, “‘Duck’ tape, tape her whole body, gloves, all black, flip phone, gasoline, matches -- crossed out line of matches.”

Jamison testified it was highly probable that Rowland wrote the list.


Osharmar Williams, owner of Cellular City, also took the stand Thursday.

He testified that Rowland came into his shop the morning that Josephson was reported missing and tried to sell her cellphone.

The state showed security footage from Williams’ shop that showed Rowland in a black hoodie with the hood up. Williams also said Rowland arrived in a dark Chevy Impala.

Williams said Rowland wouldn’t take $125 for the phone because he wanted more money. So Rowland left with the phone.

He also testified the phone didn’t register as lost or stolen, but he was able to see a picture on it because the phone was unlocked. Williams said it looked like Josephson.

Court adjourned for the night around 5:45 p.m. Testimony continues at 9:30 a.m. Friday.

The full video of the morning’s proceedings can be watched here:

To catch up on what happened in court Thursday afternoon, here is the full video:


Each day, look for a new story with the live stream of the trial on or the WIS News app. Coverage will be updated throughout the day each day, until a verdict is reached.

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