Mark Howerton’s Trial For Cayley Mandadi’s Murder Ended in Hung Jury, Retrial Scheduled

Mark Howerton Cayley Mandadi

Texas Department of Corrections / Cayley Mandadi Facebook Mark Howerton is currently awaiting a new trial after the first ended in a hung jury and a mistrial was declared.

On tonight’s episode of CBS’s 48 Hourscorrespondent Peter Van Sant investigates the death of college cheerleader Cayley Mandadi and the case against her boyfriend, Mark Howerton.

Mandadi was taken off life support on October 31, 2017, one day after being declared brain dead, according to CBS News. The 19-year-old had been rushed to the hospital by Howerton, and doctors had attempted life-saving measures, but they were not able to save her life.

According to CBS San Antonio, the injuries on Mandadi’s bodies were severe. The outlet reported that she was “virtually unrecognizable with bruises head to toe” at the time of her death.

Prosecutors Say Mandadi Was Covered With Bruises at the Time of Her Death

My San Antonio reported that Howerton’s story was that the couple had attended the Mala Luna Music Festival in San Antonio on October 29, 2017. While at the festival, he said that they took party drugs and later had consensual sex. Howerton told authorities that he rushed his girlfriend to the hospital as soon as he realized she was not breathing.

In the 48 Hours episode about the case, however, Mandadi’s mother describes the injuries as more horrific than they would have been, had that been the case.

“Even the most explicit television shows don’t show you what I saw that day,” she said of the first time she saw her daughter after she was brought to the hospital. “You know, did she fall out of an airplane? Was she thrown off a bridge?”

Howerton was interviewed by police early on in the investigation, but he was not charged with a crime until the autopsy report on Mandadi had been completed, according to the episode. The medical examiner ruled that Cayley Mandadi died from blunt force trauma as well as head trauma, and the death was labeled a homicide.

Prosecutors Allege Howerton Killed Mandadi

While investigators believe that Howerton killed his girlfriend, defense attorney John Hunter disagrees, he told 48 Hours

“Mr. Howerton brought the deceased to a hospital, which is something you don’t typically see,” he told the interviewer. “Murderers don’t usually do that.”

In video from the trial against Howerton, prosecutor Alessandra Cranshaw said that Mandadi’s was killed in Howerton’s car, per the 48 Hours episode and CBS News. The defense in the case said the head-to-toe bruising was not caused by Howerton, though, and was instead caused by the medical professionals when they were trying to save Mandadi’s life.

The defense’s case rests on witnesses of Mandadi’s arrival to the emergency room, who say they did not see any injuries to her face. Hunter said in the preview for tonight’s episode of 48 Hours that there were no injuries to her eye sockets and there were no nose fractures on Mandadi.

“That’s a pretty good indication we’re not talking about full-frontal assault,” the defense attorney stated.

Howerton Is Currently Awaiting the Start of a New Trial

The trial against Howerton regarding Mandadi’s murder ended when a mistrial was declared. The jury could not come to a unanimous decision, according to Courthouse News Service. The jury deliberated for 10 hours, totaling two days of discussion about the murder case. The same report states that four jurors held out on a guilty verdict while eight were convinced of Howerton’s guilt.

In July 2020, News 4 San Antonio reported that a retrial date had been set in the case against Howerton, but that date was set for August 21, and it does not appear that a new trial has started, likely due to COVID-19 restrictions. Because he has not been convicted of a crime, Howerton does not appear in inmate searches with the Texas Department of Corrections.

48 Hours’ “The Final Hours of Cayley Mandadi” airs on Saturday, September 19 at 10 p.m. on CBS.

READ NEXT: Sherra Wright-Robinson Update: Where Is Lorenzen Wright’s Ex-Wife Today?

Read More