Tom Bashline Murder: Where is Draton Mares Now?

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The Harlem Globetrotters trainer, Tom Bashline, was so popular within the community that he was considered a local celebrity. So, when he was found murdered in his place of residence, it sent shockwaves to the entire town of Frederick, Colorado. In a line of suspects, the police tried their best to find the identity of the real perpetrator with the help of the evidence they found at the crime scene. This intriguing yet tragic murder case is explored in ‘Murder in the Heartland: Locker Room Secret,’ which also consists of interviews with the trainer’s loved ones and individuals involved in the case.

How Did Tom Bashline Die?

Thomas “Tom” Bashline was born on April 7, 1969, in Panorama City, California, to two lovely parents — Raymond and Sharron Bashline.  After growing up in Broomfield with two sisters named Robin Lenz and RayEllen McDonough, and two brothers named Kevin and Dennis Bashline, Tom moved to Longmont in 1987 at the age of 18 and completed his schooling at Broomfield High School in 1988. Following his passion for athleticism, he became a certified athletic trainer and owned TB Trainers and Athletic Sports Medicine.

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With ten years’ experience as a trainer for Brighton High School under his belt, he managed to land a job at the Harlem Globetrotters, just a few years before he passed away. Meanwhile, Tom found his soulmate, Yvette Reyes, with whom he lived in the Frederick house, where the murder occurred. The seemingly picture-perfect life of the couple was upended on November 4, 2011, when Tom’s lifeless body was found by Yvette in his house when she returned home from work around 4:30 pm.

Yvette also noticed that his truck was missing from the property. Wasting no time, she called the police and informed them that Tom was unresponsive. When the authorities arrived at the crime scene, they were uncertain if he was murdered as there weren’t any signs of trauma to his body. But upon looking closer, they found a bullet entry wound in his head, which was the cause of his death. Since there was no gun present at the scene, the police ruled out suicide.

Who Killed Tom Bashline?

After collecting the evidence from the scene of the crime, the investigators talked to Tom Bashline’s loved ones, including his family, girlfriend, and her son, and acquaintances who might fill them in on the things going on in his life at the time of the murder. This led the police to know about his side business of testing athletes for performance-enhancing drugs, which they thought could be a motive for someone to do something like this.

Soon, the detectives found Tom’s stolen Chevy S-10 pickup in Boulder, and inside the vehicle were several items, including the alleged murder weapon — a semi-automatic handgun, which was stolen in a burglary. A man named Draton Mares was named the prime suspect in the murder case but the authorities found that he was already in custody for an unrelated work release violation charge since the day of the murder. When the authorities connected the dots between Mares, the burglary, and Bashline’s pickup, they searched his jail belongings and found Tom’s pickup truck’s keys. Moreover, after going through Tom’s computer, they found Mares’ name appeared in his emails over 60 times.

Draton Mares and Tom met online through a men-for-men Craiglist ad in May 2010. They allegedly met quite a few times for casual sexual encounters. Reportedly, on November 4, 2011, the two men texted each other for another meet-up, this time in Tom’s Frederick home. So, he reportedly drove all the way to Longmont to pick up Mares and took him back to his house at 7196 Weld County Road 11. According to Mares, Tom seemed and acted differently as he was demanding and kept throwing verbal abuses his way, calling him a f****t several times. The suspect also claimed that the popular trainer threw him onto the bed and used an insensitive Spanish term for him.

Mares then digressed and talked about his alleged rape at the age of 17, claiming that the situation between him and Tom reminded him of a similar encounter, making him scared of Tom. He also said that he had been beaten and humiliated plenty of times in his childhood. Coming back to the happenings of November 4, 2011, Mares testified that Tom demanded him to give him a backrub, to which he obliged. According to the 23-year-old suspect, not only did the 42-year-old trainer criticize his backrubs but also kept calling him a f*g or f****t. As per Mares claims, he got more aggressive with the massage and Tom said that he gave better massages than “my girl,” which shocked Mares as it revealed his straight and committed relationship that he was allegedly not aware of.

Mares confessed that the “my girl” comment led him to put socks over Tom’s eyes, cover his head with a pillow, and shoot him in the head. Panic-struck, he attempted to clean up the crime scene by pouring Windex on Tom’s back, hiding away the bloodied pillowcase, and flushing away the evidence. He then went ahead and stole wine along with a few other items from the house, stuffing them all into Tom’s truck, and drove off to Boulder. At the time, he had walked away from a work release sentence at the Boulder County Jail, which got him arrested when he stopped in Boulder to claim his paycheck from Silver Mine Subs.

Where is Draton Mares Now?

Draton Mares stood trial for the murder of Tom Bashline in October 2012, where the defense did not deny the defendant’s crime but argued that he didn’t plan to commit murder in the first place and only shot the gun in the heat of the moment and passion. So, just a few days into the trial, on October 25, the jury found Mares guilty of killing the 42-year-old trainer and sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The 23-year-old was also convicted of aggravated motor vehicle theft for stealing Tom’s truck after killing him and was sentenced to 40 years for it.

After the sentencing, Mares spoke a few words directed toward the victim’s family. He said, “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.” Currently, Draton Mares is serving his sentence behind bars at Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility at 12750 CO-96 in Ordway.

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