Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murdered Man Texts Final Words

Kevin Mashburn, 58. Family photo.

Last week in Gladstone, Mo., an AT&T employee was beaten to death with a crowbar inside his utility truck while working an overnight shift. Before dying of severe head injurlies, Kevin Mashburn, 58, sent text messages to two AT&T dispatchers, pleading for help. The messages, detailed in a probable cause affidavit, can be seen below.

Police have a suspect in custody, one who according to court documents should have already been in prison. Bryan Middlemas, 35, has a history of convictions, and a history of being released from prison early. In 2007, he was sentenced to 3 to 4 years for tampering with a vehicle, but served only 40% of that sentence before being released on parole. In 2009, he was again convicted of tampering with a motor vehicle and sentenced to six years, but was released after serving half of his sentence. Middlemas was only free for a month before allegedly attacking Mashburn. He now faces a first degree murder charge. Investigators believe he killed Mashburn because he wouldn’t give up his wallet, and then called his former cell mate for a ride.

Kevin (2:52:24 a.m)  Amanda I NEEDE YOU TO CALL ME AN AMBULANCE

Kevin (2:52:37)  I HAVE BEEN ATTACKED

Kevin (2:52:57) HELP ME PLEASE

Kevin (2:53:32) I am in Gladstone, MO AT THE KENDALLWAOOD APAT. COMPLEX OFF ANTIOCH

Kevin (2:54:01) DOYOU READ ME?

About 15 minutes later Amanda received Mashburn’s message.

Amanda (3:11:20) I got it.

At this point, Mashburn started texting another dispatcher:

Kevin (2:55:13) GRACIE ARE YOU THERE?

Gracie (3:11:06) I’M HERE NOW

Gracie (3:11:11) I WAS IN A MEETING

Kevin (3:20:10) need police

Gracie (3:20:43) THEY HAVE BEEN CALLED.. AND SO HAS STRICKLEN

Kevin (3:20:47) hurry

Gracie (3:21:14) THEY ARE EN ROUTE

Kevin (3:21:07) ok

Kevin (3:21:14) ok

Gracie (3:21:21) STRICKLEN ALSO EN ROUTE

Kevin (3:21:38) ok

Kevin (3:24:03) was attacked wiyh a flat crowbar

Gracie (3:24:40) we are praying

Gracie (3:25:08) you hurt bad?

Kevin (3:25:12) yes

Kevin (3:25:37) head split open

Gracie (3:26:15) stricklin on line.. can you give us an exact location we have the address

Gracie (3:26:21) he is trying to find you

Gracie (3:26:45 he is trying to find you

Kevin (3:26:45) near crossbox. Beacon and flasher are on

Kevin (3:27:25) I can sound horn

Gracie (3:29:10) yes

Gracie (3:29:10) us are on kendallwood

Kevin (3:30:44) yes

Gracie (3:32:10) are you near a business… can not hear you horn but keep

Police arrived at Mashburn’s truck just ten minutes after his final text message, but it was already too late. Mashburn was found unresponsive and was pronounced dead at a hospital.

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