Man charged in AT&T worker’s death pleads not guilty

A 35-year-old man charged in the beating death of an AT&T technician pleaded not guilty Monday in Clay County Circuit Court.

Bryan J. Middlemas of Kansas City faces charges of first-degree murder, attempted robbery and armed criminal action in the slaying death of 58-year-old Kevin M. Mashburn, who was clubbed in the head while he was making tower repairs in a Gladstone neighborhood about 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Middlemas appeared in court during a brief hearing Monday. His next scheduled court appearance is Oct. 2.

A team of divers spent Monday helping police search Chaumiere Lake near North Cleveland Avenue and North Chouteau Trafficway in Kansas City, North, for a crowbar that police think was used to kill Mashburn.

Gladstone spokesman Richard King said it was not known whether investigators found the weapon or other evidence related to the attack Monday.

Court records allege that Middlemas, an ex-convict, told a former cellmate that he attacked Mashburn with the crowbar when he would not give up his wallet. He then allegedly told the former cellmate that he fled and dumped the crowbar in a nearby pond.

Kansas City police arrested Middlemas on Saturday evening. During a search of Middlemas’ truck, investigators found a set of tools with a crowbar missing and noted a significant amount of blood on the interior on the rear driver’s side door.

Bond for Middlemas was set at $1 million.

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