The 19-year-old’s injuriesthe body of was large and disturbing. In photographs presented to a Bexar County jury, the sophomore cheerleader at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, was virtually unrecognizable with bruises from head to toe.
But where do these bruises come from and when? This is a question that no one was able to agree on during the December 2019 murder trial of Mark Howerton, Cayley’s boyfriend at the time of his death.
The complicated case is the subject of “The Last Hours of Cayley Mandadi,” reported by “48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant which airs Saturday, June 12 at 10 / 9c on CBS.
Cayley’s mother Alison Steele remembers her first thoughts when she saw her daughter’s nearly lifeless body at a rural hospital in Kyle, Texas on October 30, 2017.
“Did she fall from a plane? Was she thrown from a bridge?” Steele wondered.
A day earlier, Howerton had transported Mandadi to hospital in his car after the couple attended a music festival. The 22-year-old frantically greeted help in the emergency parking lot.
Medics have endured a multitude of life-saving measures on Mandadi, including administering CPR on seven occasions, eventually breaking a rib in the process.
Emergency physician Dr Stanley Handshy described his extraordinary efforts.
“Because she was a 19 year old girl, I felt like we owed her everything we could to try to resuscitate her – so we tried. Every once in a while you’re pleasantly surprised.… No this time, ”Handshy said. mentionned.
Mandadi was declared brain dead on October 30, 2017, and was removed from the resuscitation system the next day. In accordance with his wishes, Mandadi’s body was then prepared for organ donation. While these medical procedures seemed standard at the time, they would eventually become a big point of contention.
In February 2018, authorities charged Howerton with Mandadi’s murder, alleging that the cause of his death was blunt trauma to the head. A year later, Howerton was tried in Bexar County.
“Cayley Mandadi’s life ended in this defendant’s car,” said prosecutor Alessandra Cranshaw.
When she arrived at the hospital, Cranshaw said the crime had already been committed. “She’s covered in bruises on every part of her body. She has no brain activity.”
Defense lawyer John Hunter represented Howerton and said the state had rushed to try his client.
“One of the most devastating mistakes is hanging on to our first conclusions. Often they are enveloped in emotion and jaded with shock. Often we try to justify and are often deceived. ‘happened here,’ Hunter said.
Hunter brought in experts to counter the state theory on the case.
Dr William Anderson reviewed the autopsy and disagreed with the findings that Mandadi had been assaulted.
“We don’t see any fractures in the eye sockets. We don’t see any fractures in the nose. We don’t see any kind of fractures on the face. It’s a pretty good indication that we are not talking about a frontal assault,” he said. Anderson.
Instead, Anderson theorized that Mandadi’s injuries were more compatible with a fall and extensive medical intervention.
“There is no evidence that Mr. Howerton caused this death,” said Hunter.
What will the jury decide? Check out “Cayley Mandadi’s Last Hours,” an all-new “48 Hours” airing Saturday at 10 / 9c on CBS.