Deputy in shooting of Colorado motorist Christian Glass to accept plea deal

Former Clear Creek County deputies Andy Buen and Kyle Gould were charged after the June 2022 shooting death of Christian Glass. Sheila Flynn reports from the Colorado courthouse

Sheila Flynn
Thursday 02 November 2023 23:31 GMT
Christian loved art, sports, geology and had a passion for social justice, his family say; he had trained as a chef and was looking at coding programmes
Christian loved art, sports, geology and had a passion for social justice, his family say; he had trained as a chef and was looking at coding programmes (The Glass Family)

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Louise Thomas

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A Colorado deputy supervising remotely on the night that 22-year-old motorist Christian Glass was fatally shot – after calling 911 for help – will accept a plea deal later this month after a Clear Creek county judge set a date for plea and sentencing.

Kyle Gould, who was charged with criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment, will again appear before the judge on November 16 to determine his future.

But former deputy Andy Buen, who was physically present on the night and discharged his weapon, has not agreed to a plea deal from prosecutors in connection with his charges of second-degree murder and official misconduct and reckless endangerment. District Court Judge Catherine Cheroutes set a motions date in December for an anticipated change-of-venue move by his legal team in advance of a trial.

Simon and Sally Glass, the parents of Christian
Simon and Sally Glass, the parents of Christian (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Fighting tears outside the courthouse on Thursday, Sally Glass – wearing Christian’s beloved color pink, along with her husband, Simon – acknowledged that Gould had finally “accepted responsibility.”

“You can see in his face: he’s sorrowful, and it shows accepting responsibility, saying ‘This is what happened’ – and, you know, bearing the consequences of their actions,” she told reporters.

Her voice broke and she began to cry, struggling to contain her anger, as she spoke about Buen – calling his behavior “inhuman – abject cruelty to our son.

“And then, to put icing on the cake, to plead not guilty,” she said. “It’s really hard.”

Her 22-year-old son was shot dead after calling 911 on 10 June 2022 when his car got stuck in a remote, rocky area outside the tiny old mining town of Silver Plume. It appeared Christian was having a mental health crisis, and multiple responding officers laughed and joked with him for more than an hour before, as they attempted to force him from the car, he grabbed a small blade while still in the driver seat.

Buen fired into the vehicle, killing Christian. The entire incident was captured on body camera footage, though at one point Buen muted a portion of the audio.

The Glasses have never watched the footage, they reiterated on Thursday – but Ms Glass said she had “every confidence he will be found guilty, and he will end up in prison for a long time.

“And then, when it’s all finished, maybe we’ll have a chance to grieve.”

Her husband, originally from New Zealand, jumped in.

“The maximum sentence is 48 years, and we think he should get 48 years,” he told reporters. “He was a police officer. He behaved abominably, even as an ordinary member of the public. But as someone Christian called ... Christian called 911. He committed no crime. He called his murderers.”

Nearly 18 months later, he said, “we still, to this day, do not understand why this happened.”

“This needs to be punished,” Mr Glass said. “People need to see. This can never happen again, in Colorado or the US.”

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