couple in pink shirts hug outside courthouse
Parents of Christian Glass, Simon and Sally, react after the Nov. 2 criminal hearing for the shooting death of their son. Credit: Chris Koeberl

In a crowded courtroom in Clear Creek County, a former sheriff’s deputy and former sergeant entered vastly different pleas to charges associated with the shooting death of Christian Glass.

Former Clear Creek County Sgt. Kyle Gould announced he will plead guilty in the Nov. 2 hearing and agreed to return to court on Nov. 16, when charges will be announced and he will be sentenced, according to Judge Catherine Cheroutes. Gould is charged with criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment.

The details of Gould’s scheduled plea deal with prosecutors are not public, according to the court.

Meanwhile, former Clear Creek County deputy Andrew Buen, who is charged with murder in the 2nd degree, official misconduct and reckless endangerment, entered a plea of not guilty and requested trial by jury through his attorney.

Glass died on the night of June 10-11, 2022, when he was stranded in his car near Silver Plume. He had called 911 for help, saying he was trapped and his car was stuck. Officers asked Glass to leave his car, but he refused in what turned into a long standoff that ended when officers broke the car window and used a Taser on Glass. Buen shot Glass five times, killing him, according to the indictment.

Gould was in contact via cell phone with Buen during the encounter, the indictment states. Buen muted his body-worn camera audio during the cell phone conversation, and the conversation was not recorded, according to the indictment.

“It’s so hard for us,” Sally Glass, Christian’s mother, said outside court following the Nov. 2 hearing.  “Those men were responsible for the death of our son. Gould has accepted responsibility, you can see in his face he’s sorrowful.”

The Glass family, however, had harsh words for Buen. 

“The other man (Buen) — I don’t know if I can even call him a man — the way he behaved that night was inhuman, abject cruelty to our son,” Sally said in tears. “You hear that not-guilty (plea) and it’s like, Jesus are you kidding me?”

The Glass family attorney, Siddhartha Rathod, added: “Nothing is enough, there is no punishment that will bring Christian back to his parents and that is the only thing that would be justice.”

Defense motions in the Buen case are expected by Nov. 27. Cheroutes wants to know if the defense will request a change of venue in the case and a hearing on any motions filed is set for Dec. 18.

When asked by the judge, prosecutor Stephen Potts said finding a jury pool and the trial itself could take four weeks. 

Former Clear Creek County Sheriff Rick Albers retired amid criticism from county commissioners about his deputies’ involvement in Glass’ death in 2022.

A civil suit awarded a multi-million dollar settlement to the Glass family. Four agencies agreed to share the costs, including the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office. In a court-ordered apology as part of the settlement, Albers placed blame on deputies who “failed to meet expectations.”

During his job interview in October before Clear Creek County Commissioners, interim Sheriff Matthew Harris said he’d seen body camera footage of Glass’ death and believes that first responders, including deputies, lacked patience and understanding.

“It was taking too much time and so you can’t let time drive decision making, to make an awful decision,” Harris told commissioners.

County commissioner Sean Wood said he also watched the body camera footage.

“My reaction was (that) I’ve got to do whatever I can in the time I have left in office to make sure something like that can’t happen again,” he said.“Whoever the next sheriff is, that person is going to have a big responsibility in making sure that whatever reforms need to happen, happen.”

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