Former deputy who killed Christian Glass will be retried on felony charges after hung jury

Courtesy Clear Creek County
Former Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Buen, at left, in a screen capture from video during a court proceeding Monday, Dec. 12, 2022.

Updated at 5:17 p.m. on Monday, April 29, 2024

Prosecutors on Monday said they were going to again try the case against a former Clear Creek County sheriff’s deputy who fatally shot a man who called 911 for help after the judge called a mistrial because the jurors were gridlocked.

Andrew Buen was convicted last week of reckless endangerment for killing 22-year-old Christian Glass, whose car was stuck on some rocks in Silver Plume when he called emergency dispatchers.

Buen arrived on the scene and escalated everything to unsafe levels for Glass and for the other law enforcement officers there to assist him. He screamed at Glass to get out of the car, broke car windows out and ultimately shot Glass with a bean bag gun and a Taser.

Then, Buen fired his gun and killed him.

He was charged with second-degree murder, official misconduct and reckless endangerment.

After a two-week trial and three days of deliberations, the jury returned with a guilty verdict on reckless endangerment —  but were hung on the other two charges. 

One 'unreasonable' juror prevented a consensus, jury foreperson says

Over the weekend, the jury foreperson in the case told CPR News that there was one “hold out” that prevented a consensus in convicting Buen of criminally negligent homicide. 

Kristi Englekirk, an attorney who lives in Evergreen, served on the jury and said within an hour of starting deliberations, it was clear that 10 people were ready to convict Buen of second-degree murder and the other two lesser charges. 

By the end of the second day, the 11th juror was on board to convict Buen of criminally negligent homicide, which was a lesser charge, but still a felony. The other 10 jurors agreed with this lesser charge.

But there was a 12th juror who was “unreasonable,” Englekirk said.

What happens next

More importantly for Buen’s future employment is that his reckless endangerment conviction, a misdemeanor that can carry a 120-day jail sentence, is not a decertifying offense in Colorado for him to keep his peace officer license. 

This means that Buen could technically work in law enforcement at another agency. He was fired from the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office in 2022.

Clear Creek County Sheriff Matthew Harris said in a statement released Monday that Glass’s death inspired changes and reform to improve operations in the county.

Some of those changes, including implementing a mental health responder program that sends mental health professionals to calls where someone is fearful or in crisis, came as a result of requirements from the $19 million lawsuit settled by Glass’s parents.

“Our community deserves a sheriff’s office that reflects our values,” Harris said. “What happened in June 2022 does not define what we are as an organization and who we are as people.”

A trial for the remaining charges was scheduled for August 2024 in Georgetown, where Buen appeared with his attorneys before a judge.