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Murder victim sent texts begging for help after being blugeoned with a crow bar

** FOR USE WITH AP LIFESTYLES ** A text message from Blue Ocean Institute in response to an inquiry about salmon is seen in this Oct. 4, 2007 photo. The marine conservation group has launched a cell phone-based service to send you text messages with the information you need to make smart seafood choices. (AP Photo/Larry Crowe) AP Graphics

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(CBS) KANSAS CITY- Kevin Mashburn, a 58-year-old AT&T technician, was allegedly bludegeoned to death by Bryan Middlemas, a 35-year-old ex-con, when he was doing repairs last Wednesday morning, reports the New York Daily News

Missouri investigators have released the chilling last text messages that Mashburn sent, calling for help before he was found dead in his truck.

Middlemas allegedly attacked Mashburn with a crowbar taken from Mashburn's work truck after the victim refused to give up his wallet to the ex-con.

Mashburn sent the first text message calling for help at 2:52 a.m, around an hour after the attack, authorities say.

"I need you to call me an ambulance," he wrote to an AT&T dispatcher named Amanda, reported Fox 4.

In three other messages, he notified the dispatcher that he had been attacked and of his location.

He then texted a woman named Gracie, per a record of the texts that Fox 4 published.

"Was attacked [with] a flat crowbar," Mashburn said in a later message.

"We are praying," Gracie wrote. "You hurt bad?"

"Yes," he wrote. "Head split open."

Mashburn was finally rushed to the hospital after police arrived at 3:30 a.m. The father of four was pronounced dead from his injuries.

Local reports say that a tip led police to Middlemas on Saturday night. He was arrested and charged with first degree murder, attempted robbery and other counts. Middlemas has a record of arrests and jail time for assault and drug possession. The Daily News reports that authorities say he called a past cell mate and admitted to clubbing a man and throwing the crowbar in a lake.

If convicted, Middlemas could face the death penalty.

Mashburn was reportedly a husband, father and grandfather who worked for AT&T for 41 years.

  • Crimesider Staff

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