’48 Hours: The Final Hours of Cayley Mandadi’ chronicles the complicated case the surrounds the life and death of 19-year old Trinity University student, Caley Manandi, which transpired in 2017. In late October, she was rushed to the hospital by then-boyfriend, Mark Howerton, where she was pronounced brain dead and then taken off of life support. She had bruises all over her body and was barely recognizable, but where did they come from – and when? These are the questions that were the prime focus during the murder trial against Mark in December of 2019, and this episode reiterates them. Curious to know more? Keep scrolling!
Who Is Mark Howerton?
Mark Howerton, a Texas native, was 22-years-old when he started dating the 19-year-old sophomore Cayley Mandadi back in 2017. They had officially been together for only about five weeks when she passed away on October 31, but even within that short period of time, their relationship was a turbulent one, riddled with alleged violence and unexplainable bruises. According to Cayley’s friends, Mark was volatile, possessive, and even controlling to a significant extent. They detailed a couple of incidents as well – one where he slammed her head against a car window and another where he destroyed her dorm room and threatened to throw her off the balcony.
Things went south in the worst of ways when the couple attended a music festival in San Antonio on October 29. There, they allegedly got into an argument about her ex-boyfriend after which, she threatened to break up with him. Then, as things settled down a little, they decided to go on an impromptu road trip to Houston. Mark claims that they made up while being on the road, and then stopped to have what he described to be “consensual but rough sex” that involved choking. He elaborated that Cayley didn’t feel well afterwards and passed out, following which he rushed her to the hospital. He detailed all of this while being interrogated by the police following.
Where Is Mark Howerton Today?
In February of 2018, after months of investigations, Mark Howerton turned himself in. Subsequently, he was indicted with murder, sexual assault, and later, kidnapping. Although he did this, he didn’t plead guilty to any of the charges. Therefore, the case went to trial, which took place in December of 2019. During that, the prosecutors painted a picture of how Mark killed Cayley in a jealous rage, claiming that he lashes out whenever he doesn’t get his way, which is what happened that day. They even pinpointed how their relationship was marked with toxic traits and assault. However, the defense team brought in a doctor to testify in favor of Mark.
The doctor said that he reviewed the autopsy report and disagreed with the findings that Cayley had been assaulted. He said that as there were no fractures near her eyes, nose, or anywhere on her face for that matter, it was a “pretty good” indication that she wasn’t the victim of a full-frontal assault. In fact, he theorized that her injuries were more consistent with that of a fall and extensive medical procedures and interventions. In simpler words, he could find no evidence that suggested that Mark Howerton was responsible for Cayley’s death. Therefore, with all this, even after 10 hours of deliberation, the jury could not reach a verdict, and the judge had to announce a mistrial.
The retrial date for Cayley’s murder case was set for August 21, 2020, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has since been postponed. Mark, now 25, maintains that he did not murder Cayley, so he does not mind going to trial to prove his innocence, whenever that may be. However, if convicted of the charges against him, he faces life in prison, which could mean serving time from anywhere between 5-99 years before being granted release.
Read More: Where Are Cayley Mandadi’s Parents Now?