GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4)– The man accused of killing a trainer for the Harlem Globetrotters will spend the rest of his life in prison. A jury in Weld County convicted Draton Mares of murdering Thomas Bashline.

Prosecutors had said Mares, 23, shot Bashline, 42, in the back of the head in Bashline’s bedroom in November 2011, then stole his vehicle. Bashline’s girlfriend found his body in the home they shared.

Before he was sentenced, both families made statements to the court.

Thomas Bashline (credit: CBS)

Mares also spoke and addressed the victim’s family, “My heart goes out to the Bashlines. I took a son, brother, uncle, cousin away from that family and not a day goes by that I’m not reminded of what I did and I’m so sorry for what I did.”

Investigators say Mares and Bashline had met several times for sexual encounters. Mares testified that after one encounter soured, he shot Bashline after Bashline treated him abusively and called him a derogatory name.

His attorney argued that Mares didn’t plan the killing and only fired in the heat of passion.


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