A 22-year-old man has turned himself in for the rape and murder of his ex-girlfriend, a cheerleader at Trinity University.
However, Mark Howerton said through his lawyer that he’s innocent.
“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,” said John Hunter, Howerton’s attorney, reported KSAT.
Howerton was sought in the death of 19-year-old Cayley Mandadi, who was rushed to the hospital on Oct. 29, 2017, by Howerton.
Mandadi was brought to the hospital nude from the waist down and had bruises on her neck and in the thigh area.
Howerton was questioned by officers the next day. He said he’d known Mandadi for around eight months and that they’d been dating for four weeks.
He said the pair had partied over the weekend, including ingesting the drug “molly” on Oct. 28 and Oct. 29 while at a festival in San Antonio.
He said they’d left the festival to go to Houston and stopped on the way to have sex in the car.
He said he knew Mandadi had bruises around her neck but said the “rough” relations were consensual.
Authorities said the injuries were consistent with “physical and violent sexual assault,” reported MySanAntonio.
Mandadi said she wasn’t feeling well afterward and passed out in the passenger seat without her clothes on.
The same day that Howerton was questioned, Mandadi was taken off of life support.
Mandadi’s ex-boyfriend told investigators that he saw Howerton grab Mandadi’s arm in an aggressive manner when they were leaving the festival.
Mandadi’s friends told investigators that Howerton had been violent in the past. One of them said she’d previously seen bruises on Mandadi’s legs and that they were caused by Howerton.
ABC reported that Howerton was already wearing an ankle monitor related to a previous criminal mischief charge for trashing Mandadi’s dorm room. One of her roommates in the dorm told investigators that his excuse for it was that he had “roid rage,” indicating that he was also using steroids.
Multiple friends said they’d heard Howerton once slammed Mandadi’s head against a car window.
One friend said she was scared of him, according to affidavits.