‘That’s my daughter. My only child’: Father testifies in trial of man accused of killing his daughter

Mark Howerton on trial for murder, kidnapping and sexual assault

GF Default - Cayley Mandadi's father testifies in trial of his daughter's death
GF Default - Cayley Mandadi's father testifies in trial of his daughter's death

SAN ANTONIO – The father of Cayley Mandadi, the Trinity University Cheerleader killed in 2017, took the stand in Mark Howerton’s trial Monday.

Talik Mandadi held back tears as he was shown pictures of his daughter.

The state: Is that your daughter, Cayley Mandadi?

Talik Mandadi: Yes, that’s my daughter. My only child.

Her father testified that the last time he spoke to Mandadi over the phone was on Friday, October 27, 2017. He said they made an agreement to talk the next day about which classes she planned to take at Trinity University the following semester.

“We didn’t talk on Saturday, and uh yeah, I was worried, concerned and frustrated cause that’s not, I was kind of looking forward to talking to her,” said her father.

Mandadi and Howerton were in a relationship. On October 28, 2017, Howerton and Mandadi went to the Mala Luna Festival, according to audio of an interview with Howerton that the Texas Rangers conducted during the investigation. Howerton told the investigator that they partied from 4:30 p.m. that Saturday to the following morning. In the afternoon of October 29, the couple returned to the Mala Luna Festival but left after they saw Mandadi’s ex-boyfriend.

Ex-boyfriend testifies about love triangle involving slain Trinity cheerleader

In the interview played for jurors an investigator asked Howerton if they’ve ever hit each other during arguments.

“Have y’all ever physically harmed each other,” asked Raymond Benoist Jr., an investigator with the Texas Rangers.

“We’ve slapped each other, yes,” Howerton said.

“During your fights?” asked Benoist.

“I mean yeah, but that’s it,” responded Howerton.

Howerton told investigators that Mandadi agreed to go to Houston with him, according to the interview.

The last GPS location from Mandadi’s phone was captured at the Bexar-Guadalupe County line around 9:28 p.m. on October 29, according to Zachary McBride with the Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office.

Howerton said they stopped at a gas station parking lot off I-10 to have consensual sex in his car, according to the interview.

Nurse describes Cayley Mandadi’s injuries as murder trial continues

According to data collected from Howerton’s phone, he arrived to a hospital in Luling with Mandadi around 10:26 p.m. Howerton said Mandadi had stopped breathing.

Within a few hours, Mandadi was flown to a hospital in Kyle. She was pronounced dead on October 31.

The trial is expected to continue Tuesday before Senior State District Judge Raymond Angelini in the 144th District Court.

About the Author:

Brina is the Executive Producer of the NightBeat and KSAT Explains. She has been with KSAT since 2015. She is a Houston native and proud to call San Antonio home.