GLADSTONE, Mo. —A 35-year-old ex convict appeared in Clay County court on Monday afternoon. Bryan Middlemas is charged with killing an AT& T technician, Kevin Mashburn on Sept. 19.
A judge entered a plea on his behalf of not guilty. Middlemas was arrested late Saturday evening. On Monday, Gladstone Police began searching a lake at I-35 and Chouteau Trafficway for the murder weapon that they believe their suspect used to kill AT&T employee Kevin Mashburn.
Middlemas spent two years in jail on drug possession charges.
Police say Middlemas called the former cellmate after beating Mashburn with a crow bar because he wouldn’t hand over his wallet.
According to police, the search for a murder weapon led them to Chaumeire Lake, which is located a couple of blocks north of the crime scene. Police would not say what information specifically led them to search the lake.
Kevin Mashburn was found severely injured inside his AT&T Utility truck parked in a yard in the 2700 block of 57th Terrace in Gladstone.
According to the probable cause statement, Mashburn texted for help, which finally came about an hour after he was attacked. By the time police arrived at about 3:40 a.m., he was not breathing.
The probable cause statement says Mashburn sent his first text at 2:52 a.m. to AT&T dispatch.
Mashburn- II HAVE BEEN ATTACKED- HELP ME PLEASE (2:52 a.m.)
Mashburn- I am in Gladstone, MO. AT THE KENDALLWOOD APT. COMPLEX OFF ANTIOCH (2:53 a.m.)
Mashburn- DO YOU READ ME? (2:54 a.m. )
Amanda- I got it (3:11 a.m.)
Clay County Prosecutors filed charges of Murder in the First Degree, Armed Criminal Action, and Attempted First Degree Robbery against Middlemas.
Divers will continue searching the 15 foot deep pond until they find a murder weapon or finish searching the entire area. The Clay County Prosecutor’s office says it’s too early to determine if the state will seek the death penalty in this case.
Middlemas faces a maximum punishment of two life sentences or death plus 15 years if he’s convicted of all charges .