The boyfriend of stunning 19-year-old Texas cheerleader, Cayley Mandadi, has been charged with her rape and murder after she was found dead on Halloween.
RadarOnline.com has learned Mark Howerton – who was once marked as a “person of interest” in the case – turned himself in. The 22-year-old was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree sexual assault on Wednesday, February 28.
According to the affidavit, an “unresponsive” Mandadi was taken to the hospital on the night of October 29 and pronounced brain dead on October 30.
She was “nude from the waist down” and had “bruises on her neck/thigh area” when she was taken to the emergency room by Howerton. She was also “bleeding from her vagina” and had very swollen eyelids and red marks all over.
Howerton told investigators that he and Mandadi – who had known each other for 8 months and dated for 4 weeks – partied hard on October 29. They reportedly drank alcohol and took Molly.
The man also claimed that the two got into an argument that night, and later had violent and consensual “rough” makeup sex in his car while driving to Houston. He alleged that his girlfriend then passed out and wouldn’t respond, so he took her to the hospital.
According to the affidavit, Howerton’s knuckles were red at the time he arrived at the emergency room with an unconscious Mandadi, as if he had punched someone. He also had scratches all over his arms.
After searching his car for evidence and inspecting the injuries on Mandadi’s dead body, investigators concluded that Howerton’s story was inconsistent, and that the cheerleader had clearly suffered “physical and violent sexual assault.”
When friends of Mandadi were questioned about Howerton following her death, they claimed the man had always been violent and had previously threatened her life, even exposing a gun in front of their classmates.
Mark Howerton is now under police custody. His bond is set at $225,000.
Stay with Radar for updates.
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