GEORGETOWN, Colo. — A former Clear Creek sergeant who authorized deputies to use force to remove a 22-year-old from his car before he was shot and killed by a deputy in June 2022 plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge Thursday.
Former Clear Creek County Sheriff Deputy Kyle Gould pleaded guilty to ignoring his duty to report use of force and intervene in the shooting death of Christian Glass, who was shot and killed by former Clear Creek Deputy Andrew Buen. Gould was sentenced to two years’ probation and a $1,000 fine and is also now barred from working in law enforcement or security in Colorado after agreeing to withdraw his state-mandated POST certification.
In exchange for his guilty plea, charges of criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment were dropped in the case.
"You can stick Mr. Gould in jail, but honestly it's not going to bring Christian back," Christian's mother Sally Glass said after the sentencing. "I think it's important that he doesn't ever serve in a position of responsibility. He never will be in charge of any decision making when it comes to the general public. And I think that's really the most important thing."
Gould’s guilty plea comes two weeks after Buen pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and official misconduct for fatally shooting Glass on June 11, 2022.
Glass had called 911 for help late in the evening of June 10, 2022, after his car got stuck in an embankment near Silver Plume. After spending more than an hour coaxing him to get out of his vehicle as Glass experienced a mental health crisis, Gould authorized deputies at the scene to use force to remove him from his car after bean bags and a Taser did not work to get him to surrender — despite the man not posing a threat to deputies at the scene. Glass was shot by Buen several times when Glass swung a knife he had on him that he used for amateur geological work. The 22-year-old was declared dead at the scene minutes later, on June 11, 2022.
"Everyone there that night should be in jail, as far as I'm concerned. They all behaved abominably," said Simon Glass, Christian's father, following Gould's court appearance Thursday. "Nothing's going to bring Christian back. But we really want everyone here to be held accountable. We've said that from the start. And it's really—it's really time for that to happen. It's been, I think, 17 months now. But, we've been waiting for justice. Today was the first admission of guilt by anybody there."
Denver7 | Investigates
Parents of Christian Glass respond to internal affairs report on shooting
Gould and Buen were both let back to work after the shooting. It was only after the two were indicted by a grand jury five months later that they were fired from the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office.
Defense attorneys for both deputies tried to get a judge to dismiss the charges against them, but the judge denied their request back in April, saying there was sufficient evidence to continue with the criminal cases.
A month later, Glass’ family received a historic $19 million settlement in their son’s death. Under the settlement, the state agreed to implement virtual reality and real-life training scenarios reflecting Christian’s death as well as educating new recruits across Colorado on de-escalation. It also included apology statements from Clear Creek County, the Town of Georgetown, and the City of Idaho Springs.
Per the settlement, Clear Creek County must establish a dedicated crisis response team in the County by January 1, 2025. The Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office will also train and certify all its patrol officers in crisis intervention.
Following his guilty plea, attorneys for the Glass family released the following statement:
The Glass family commends the District Attorney of the Fifth Judicial District for successfully prosecuting former Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Deputy Kyle Gould. Mr. Gould has accepted responsibility for his part in the murder of Christian Glass by pleading guilty to the crime of Failure to Intervene. Most importantly, this result ensures that Mr. Gould is stripped of his Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification and will no longer have the privilege of serving as a law enforcement officer. The Glass family hopes that the greater law enforcement community learns from this prosecution and makes changes to their policies and cultures to prevent this type of tragedy in the future.
Former Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Buen has not accepted any responsibility for shooting and killing Christian Glass. He has unconscionably pleaded not guilty to Christian’s murder despite overwhelming evidence of his guilt. The Glass family’s suffering unfortunately continues as they tirelessly pursue justice for Christian’s murder through Mr. Buen’s criminal prosecution.
Buen, whose case is still moving through the court system, is set to appear for a motions hearing on Dec. 18.