SAN ANTONIO — A jury of seven men and five women heard from a number of law enforcement officers on Tuesday as the trial for a man accused of murdering a Trinity University cheerleader began.
Mark Howerton is facing a murder charge in the death of 19-year-old Cayley Mandadi.
In dash cam and body camera video, Howerton claims the two had sex in a gas station parking lot that night in October 2017 on the way back from Mala Luna, a music festival. Howerton told authorities after that Mandadi fell asleep and began to snore, when the snoring stopped, he said he checked her pulse and couldn't find one, that's when he said he drove to the closest hospital, in Luling.
Investigators reported that Mandadi's injuries were consistent with a brutal sexual assault and her final cause of death was reported as blunt force trauma.
In body camera video, Howerton admitted to a Guadalupe County deputy to being physical with Mandadi in the past. Even during the last few minutes, he said she was conscious.
"When we were having sex I choked her but it wasn't like, 'kill her,'" Howerton could be heard stating via body camera video.
"It wasn't like that and afterwards, after we had sex, she still talked me for 5-6 minutes afterwards before I was like, 'alright, lets go' and then that's when she was like, 'I'm not feeling too good,' and then she just passed out."
Howerton is out on bond. With that murder charge alone, if found guilty he faces between 5 to 99 years in prison.