GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — The attorney for a man accused of fatally shooting an athletic trainer who had worked with the Harlem Globetrotters says his client fired in the heat of passion.

Lawyers gave opening arguments Wednesday in the trial of Draton Mares. He is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated motor vehicle theft on allegations he shot Thomas Bashline in November and stole his vehicle.

Defense attorney Justin Reed says the shooting wasn’t premeditated. He says Mares had a sexual relationship with Bashline. He says the two were at the home Bashline shared with his girlfriend when Bashline started treating Mares poorly, and Mares fired in fear after being called a derogatory word for a gay person.

Prosecutors say Mares thought about his actions before shooting Bashline in the back of the head.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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