Boyfriend who dropped naked cheerleader girlfriend at hospital after ‘rough sex’ arrested for her murder

A Texas man who reportedly dropped his teen girlfriend off at a hospital and fled last year was charged with murder on Wednesday after a medical examination reportedly indicated the suspect wasn’t truthful about what led to the girl’s death.

The Star Telegram reports that Mark Phillip Howerton, 22, was arrested and charged with murder and sexual assault, stemming from a 2017 incident in which his girlfriend, 19-year-old former Trinity University cheerleader, Cayley Mandadi, passed away from blunt force trauma to the head.

Court documents revealed Howerton had been dating Mandadi for around a month when the pair decided to go to the Mala Luna music festival together on October 31, 2017, in San Antonio. While at the festival, Mandadi reportedly ran into her ex-boyfriend, which apparently caused an argument between her and Howerton. After weekend of alleged drinking and ecstacy drug use, the couple left in Howerton’s car to resolve their issues.

READ More: Cheerleader dies after someone dumps her at hospital and flees

According to Howerton’s version of events, he made up with Mandadi by having “rough” but consensual sex at a gas station they stopped at while on their way to Houston.  Howerton said they were on their way to Houston together, his hometown, after making up and agreeing to live with each other.

Shortly after, Mandadi reportedly complained she didn’t feel good and fell asleep in the front seat of Howerton’s car without putting her clothes back on.

Howerton said he continued to drive to Houston while Mandadi slept in the front passenger seat, but at some point after driving into the town of Luling, he noticed she wasn’t breathing. He told authorities he tried to administer CPR but when he couldn’t revive her, he dropped her off at a nearby hospital, then drove away.

Medical responders found Mandadi naked from waist down, with bruises consistent with abuse across her neck and thighs. During a medical exam, more injuries were discovered on Mandadi, which didn’t match Howerton’s versions of events. Luling police, who took photos of Mandadi, noted that she had red knuckles “in a manner consistent with someone punching someone else,” as well as scratches across her arms.

Further, The Herald reports that Mandadi had a swollen eye and injuries over most of the front of her body.

“The only areas of [Mandadi] with no evidence of injury were her back and the back of her legs,” the affidavit read, with a note that the injuries were consistent with “physical and violent sexual assault.”

Howerton turned himself in after learning of a warrant for his arrest. His defense lawyer, John Hunter, told KSAT that the charges are unwarranted and his client is hoping to be vindicated.

“Mr. Howerton is ready and eager to vindicate himself in court. He’s innocent of the charges, and he’s doing the right thing.”

The story is still developing. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

[Feature Photo: Cayley Mandadi/ Trinity University Cheerleading & Mark Fullerton/Smith County ail]