Fifth Judicial District Attorney Heidi McCollum has filed misdemeanor charges against six current and former law-enforcement officers involved in the shooting death of Christian Glass last year in Clear Creek County.
Former Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office deputy Tim Collins, Colorado Division of Gaming Enforcement Investigators Mary Harris and Christa Lloyd, Idaho Springs Police Officer Brittany Morrow and Colorado State Trooper Ryan Bennie all face one count of failure to intervene under a state law that is meant to prevent unnecessary injuries and deaths to people being investigated by police.
Georgetown Police Marshal Randy Williams was also charged. He faces two misdemeanor counts, including failure to intervene and third-degree assault for allegedly firing his taser that night.
The charges came as another officer in the case, former Clear Creek Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Kyle Gould pleaded guilty on Nov. 16 to two misdemeanor charges in the case.
All six of the officers charged were on the scene the night of June 10-11, 2022, when former Clear Creek County Sheriff deputy Andrew Buen shot Glass five times, killing him, according to an indictment.
Glass was stranded in his car near Silver Plume. He had called 911 for help, saying he was trapped. When officers arrived, they asked Glass to leave his car, but he refused in what turned into a standoff that ended with officers breaking Glass’ car window and using a Taser on him. Buen shot Glass five times, killing him, according to an indictment.
“I think this brings us a step closer to holding everyone accountable for their behavior that night,” Simon Glass, Christian’s father, told the Clear Creek Courant on Nov. 17 after the charges were filed. “They behaved as a group the night they killed my son.”
Simon Glass said that the Sheriff’s Office is in need of reform.
“There is a bad culture in the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s department,” Simon Glass said. “It seems to be a culture of violence.”
The Glass family received a $19-million settlement in the wake of the outcry over their son’s death. Since then, officials in Clear Creek County have promised change, including reforms at the Sheriff’s Office by an interim sheriff who was hired just weeks ago — Matthew Harris.
“Traditional law enforcement training is based upon combat and protecting yourself in battle, a warrior, but that’s not what we’re dealing with in this community,” Harris said during his interview with Clear Creek County Commissioners in October. “We have to have good relationships in this community. We have to build trust. We can’t have officers who only have that battle mindset.”
Buen, who is charged with murder in the 2nd degree, official misconduct and reckless endangerment, recently entered a plea of not guilty and requested a trial by jury through his attorney.
Gould was in contact via cell phone with Buen during the encounter, an indictment states. Buen muted his body-worn camera audio during the cell phone conversation, and the conversation was not recorded, according to that indictment.
Defense motions in the Buen case are expected by Nov. 27. Judge Catherine Cheroutes wants to know if the defense will request a change of venue in the case. A hearing on any motions filed is set for Dec. 18.
Simon Glass said there will be no chance of any kind of closure for his family until all the criminal cases are adjudicated.
“We still have to address the conspiracy and cover-up within Clear Creek County and the sheriff’s department,” Simon Glass alleged, indicating a long list of moments that have led up to the charges now playing out in court.
In court Nov. 16 for Gould’s guilty plea and sentencing, Sally Glass clutched a heart-shaped glass-like rock that she said symbolized Christian’s “love and compassion” as she told the judge of the pain she and her husband Simon have been going through since their son’s death.
The rock was found in Christian’s vehicle after his death.
The six additional defendants have not been arrested or booked into the court system at this time, said Clear Creek County Undersheriff John Stein.