LIBERTY, Mo. - When Brian Middlemas pleaded not guilty in a Clay County courtroom Monday, the judge told him he could face either two life sentences or the death penalty plus 15 years all for charges in the killing of Kevin Mashburn.
On September 19, the day Mashburn died, Middlemas was originally sentenced to be in jail.
Among 9 felony arrests and 2 convictions, court records show he earned a six year sentence for being caught with three stolen cars three separate times at Harrah's casino in 2008 and 2009.
He was only required to serve half of his sentence and was granted parole this August.
Middlemas had only been out of jail four weeks when Kevin Mashburn was attacked. Court records show Mashburn's desperate last attempts to message AT&T dispatchers from his truck. He typed "I have been attacked" and "Help me please."
Mashburn went unanswered for almost twenty minutes. One dispatcher said she had been in a meeting.
Mashburn sent messages for almost 45 minutes after his attack, even typing 'hurry" and "was attacked with a flat crowbar," then stopped just minutes before officers finally found him laying across the seat of his truck, trying to honk for help.
Days later, and just one day after the announcement of a $100,000 reward, a former cellmate to Middlemas called the TIPS hotline. The tipster claimed he picked up Middlemas hours after Mashburn's death. The cellmate says Middlemas confessed to the attempted robbery but didn't know Mashburn had died. The cellmate also says Middlemas confessed to throwing the crowbar he used to beat Mashburn in a nearby lake.