The ex-boyfriend of a college cheerleader has turned himself in to authorities, four months after she was raped and murdered. Authorities in San Antonio announced on February 28 that Mark Howerton, 22, was in custody in relation to the killing of Trinity University student Cayley Mandadi, 19. Mandadi’s Halloween death had been considered something of a mystery at the Texas school.
On November 4, the school alluded some what to Howerton’s connection to the death in Facebook post that read in part, “Mark Howerton, who had been associated with Cayley and is not welcome back to Trinity.” Mandadi was traveling in a car on October 31 with Howerton when he noticed she wasn’t breathing, he dropped her at hospital in Luling and left. Later that day, after being transferred to another hospital in Kyle, Mandadi was pronounced dead.
In her obituary, Mandadi was described as someone who ” touched and brightened countless lives with her kind heart, contagious laugh and amazing spirit.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Howerton Told Cops He Had ‘Make-Up Sex’ With Mandadi Shortly Before Her Death
According to documents in the case, Mandadi attended the Mala Luna music festival in San Antonio on October 28. Howerton told police that the couple drank Crown Royal whiskey and took MDMA. While there, the couple encountered an ex-boyfriend of Mandadi’s. After fighting, the couple made up and had sex in Howerton’s car. The suspect told police that Mandadi told him that she would leave college for him and go to Houston to be together. Howerton described the sex as being rough.
You can read the full documents in the case here:
2. Multiple Witnesses Told Cops About Howerton’s ‘Roid Rage’
In the documents, it’s shown that investigators interviewed multiple associates of Howerton who described him as suffering from roid rage. One friend said that Howerton had “destroyed” Mandadi’s dorm room during one bout of rage. Another said that he had bought anabolic steroids from the suspect.
3. Howerton’s Attorney Says He Is Innocent of All Charges
Screengrab via KSAT
Speaking to the media, Howerton’s lawyer, John Hunter, said that is client is innocent of all charges. KSAT reports that Hunter as saying, “Mr. Howerton is ready and eager to vindicate himself in court. He’s innocent of the charges, and he’s doing the right thing. If someone has a warrant out for his arrest, then he needs to turn himself in.”
4. Howerton Was Regarded as a ‘Hitting Machine’ During His High School Baseball Career
During his high school years in Tyler, Texas, Howerton was once voted as Athlete of the Week by the school’s local NBC affiliate. At the time, Howerton was a star on his school’s baseball team. The TV report refers to him as being a “hitting machine.”
5. Mandadi’s Family Said Her Death ‘Left an Unimaginably Painful Gap in Our Hearts’
While not speaking publicly at the time of Mandadi’s death, her family expressed the sorrow in her obituary. One part of the tribute reads, “was our purpose and meaning since the day she was born. She leaves an unimaginably painful gap in our hearts, but will remain forever young in our memories.”