Jury selection in trial for former deputy who killed Boulder man on mountain road has trial starts today

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
A vigil for Christian Glass on Wednesday evening, Sept. 20, 2022, in Idaho Springs. He called 911 for help from his stranded vehicle in Silver Plume in June 2022. Clear Creek County deputies responded to his call, and in a moment captured by officers’ body cameras, one deputy shot and killed the 22-year old man

The criminal trial of the former sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed a Boulder man who had called 911 for help when his car got stranded on a mountain road starts today in Georgetown.

Late on June 10, 2022, Christian Glass, 22, called emergency for help from his car on a dark road near Silver Plume. He told the dispatcher that he lodged his Honda SUV on some rocks and couldn’t turn around. He also sounded paranoid, said he heard voices, and told her that he was really scared and that he didn’t know where he was.

Then-deputy Andrew Buen and his partner escalated the situation when they arrived.

He screamed at Glass to get out of his car. Glass told him that he was afraid and that he would prefer to be towed and he’d follow them to the police station. Glass also never made any threats to anyone, particularly law enforcement. He made heart-shaped signs to them through his car windows.

Glass also told officers he had some geology gear in his car, including a knife, a rubber mallet, and some larger stones. He offered to toss them out the window in front of officers and they told him no.

As the scene unfolded over 70 minutes, Buen eventually broke out the front passenger side front window using a baton and Glass visibly panicked inside his car, according to body-worn camera footage released by Glass’ family. 

Buen shot six bean bag rounds into Glass and he picked up the rock knife and swung it around wildly “in agony and self-defense,” according to Buen’s 10-page indictment. 

Then Buen and another officer deployed Tasers and struck Glass. Within a few seconds, Buen then fired his pistol five times at Glass, who died on the scene.

Buen was terminated from the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office and faces a second-degree murder charge, reckless endangerment, and official misconduct. 

His supervisor, Kyle Gould, who authorized Buen to break the car windows in Glass’ vehicle, took a plea deal last year and agreed to relinquish his peace officer’s license. 

Six other officers on the scene from various agencies were also charged or have taken plea deals related to Glass’ homicide.

His parents received a record-setting $19 million settlement from a handful of agencies and the county for his death. The sheriff stepped down. and the county has apologized. 

Jury selection starts Monday in Georgetown at the Clear Creek County courthouse. That could last up to a week before opening statements.