The parents of Nathaniel David Rowland, the man charged with murdering University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson, are standing behind him 100 percent. They don’t believe the allegation that their son was capable of this crime.
“Nate did not do this thing,” his father Henry Rowland told WACH in an emotional interview. “Ain’t no way.”
His mother Loretta Rowland also voiced her support.
“If I could see him, I would tell him I love him, keep praying, and we are there for him,” she said.
It’s been alleged that Josephson got into Nathaniel Rowland’s car, possibly believing it was an Uber, police said. After this, the defendant allegedly murdered her and dumped her body just off of a dirt road in Clarion County on Friday. Cops later pulled over Rowland’s Chevy Impala for a traffic stop and he ran, officials said. Investigators said they discovered Josephson’s phone and blood in the car. There were also cleaning supplies. The child safety locks were engaged, meaning that the victim wouldn’t have been able to escape.
BREAKING: South Carolina police say 21 y/o #SamanthaJosephson’s body was found in a hard-to-access rural area several feet from a dirt road. Police later stopped suspect in Impala where the suspect fled on foot. Officers chased, arrested and charged Nathaniel David Rowland. pic.twitter.com/RDJe8MZC5E
— Dave Kinchen 🇺🇸🌎 (@DaveKinchenUSA) March 30, 2019
Rowland’s parents said the above-described crime would be completely out of character for their son.
“Some people you could look at, and you could look at their background, and you could say, ‘Yeah, that’s possible,'” said his father. “But this here is impossible.” Henry Rowland said his son is very religious.
Rowland also said in another part of the interview, however, “I know it’s my child, but if you’re wrong, you’re wrong.”
“If he did it, I’ll be the first one to put him behind bars, lock him up, and throw away the key,” he added.
“I want to know if you did this thing,” Rowland continued. “If you’re guilty, you serve this time because you stole a life […] but if you didn’t do it, I’m all out for you…I’m behind you 100 percent.”
Justin Waiters, who coached the then-teenage defendant on basketball teams for the Amateur Athletic Union and East Clarendon high School, said much the same thing in a separate interview.
“This doesn’t sound like the person we know and love,” he told The Greenville News. He described Rowland as a “great kid,” who was respectful, and also a positive influence on others his age.
The parents said they were working on getting a good private attorney for their son, although it will be a financial strain on the family.
Henry Rowland shared a second-hand story that his son passed out at a party that night. In this account, the defendant woke up to find his keys were gone, but found his vehicle outside. The keys–and blood–were inside. His father said that if this story were true, then it was a mistake not to call 911. It was also a mistake to run during the traffic stop. In any case, it remains to be seen if that story will factor into the defense strategy.
Josephson’s mother recently condemned Nathaniel Rowland in court, saying he doesn’t deserve a shot at bail.
“Does he even know her name?” Marci Josephson said at a bond hearing on Sunday. She pretty much ripped into him, later saying this: “Unlike him, Samantha valued human life and could never harm another soul. Unlike him, Samantha had love within her heart and purpose in her life, the life he brutally ended. He took away our daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, a niece, a cousin and a friend to so many. His selfish, unspeakable and violent actions have created a hole in the universe. A hole in our universe and we see the unimaginable ripple, affect her world.”
[Screengrab via WACH]