Jury says local man accused of killing AT&T worker is not guilty

LIBERTY, Mo. -- A local man accused of killing an AT&T worker is a free man Friday afternoon.

Bryan Middlemas was arrested in 2012 and charged with the first-degree murder of 58-year-old Kevin Mashburn.

Mashburn was an AT&T worker on a service call in September of 2012 doing tower repairs near an apartment complex in Gladstone when he was attacked.

Police say Middlemas demanded Mashburn's wallet, and when Mashburn refused to give it up Middlemas hit him on the head with a crowbar.

Kevin Mashburn

Kevin Mashburn

Mashburn texted two other AT&T workers for help, but his injuries were so severe he later died at the hospital. Mashburn was a grandfather, a father, a husband, and friend to many.

A tipster led police to Middlemas,  who was charged with first-degree murder and attempted robbery in connection to the case.

Police say a former cellmate of Middlemas’ told police that Middlemas called him for a ride after the murder and told his friend that he had beaten Mashburn when he wouldn’t turn over his wallet.

Middlemas had been arrested several times and in and out of prison for the majority of the last decade.

According to court records, in 2007 Middlemas was sentenced to three years in prison for tampering with a motor vehicle. The Department of Corrections tells FOX 4 Middlemas only served 40 percent of that sentence before he was granted parole.

Less than a year after being released from prison, Middlemas was charged with possession of marijuana and sentenced to two years. In 2009, he was again convicted of tampering with a motor vehicle and sentenced to six years in prison. That would've put him in prison until 2015.

Bryan Middlemas

Bryan Middlemas

Despite Middlemas' criminal record, according to the Department of Corrections, he was only required to serve 50 percent of the last six-year sentence. Middlemas was again released from prison in August of 2012.

Middlemas pleaded not guilty to his charges.

Middlemas' trial started on Monday and wrapped up around midnight Thursday.  As of Friday at noon, he had already been released from jail.