A 39-year-old man accused in the beating death of an AT&T technician was found not guilty Friday in the September 2012 attack.
Bryan J. Middlemas of Kansas City was charged in Clay County Circuit Court with first-degree murder, attempted robbery and armed criminal action in the death of Kevin M. Mashburn.
Jurors from Taney County heard the criminal trial held this week in Clay County. They deliberated for more than six hours, and the verdicts were returned just after midnight Friday morning.
Mashburn, 58, was attacked from behind and clubbed in the head with a crowbar while he was making tower repairs in a Gladstone neighborhood.
In text messages to his dispatcher after he was hit, Mashburn said, “I need you to call me an ambulance ... I have been attacked,” Clay County authorities said.
While police and paramedics rushed to the scene, the dispatcher texted, “You hurt bad?”
Mashburn wrote, “Yes ... head split open.”
Paramedics found Mashburn unconscious inside his truck in the 2700 block of Northeast 57th Terrace in Gladstone.
He was rushed to the hospital, where he died.
Prosecutors also said a former cellmate of Middlemas contacted police and told them that Middlemas had confessed to attacking Mashburn.
Middlemas allegedly told the cellmate he attacked Mashburn with the crowbar when the technician refused to give up his wallet, then fled and dumped the crowbar in a nearby pond.
Phone records showed that Middlemas had called his former cellmate, and records also showed that Middlemas had been near the crime scene, according to court records.