Jury deliberations underway in trial of former Clear Creek County deputy who shot, killed Christian Glass

Prosecutors argue Andrew Buen acted unreasonably, while defense attorneys claim he was justified in the fatal shooting.
Christian Glass
Posted at 12:18 PM, Apr 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-25 14:18:11-04

GEORGETOWN — Jury deliberations began Wednesday in the trial of the former Clear Creek County deputy who shot and killed 22-year-old Christian Glass in June 2022.

Former deputy Andrew Buen was one of the officers who responded to the 911 call placed by Glass. Glass' car was stuck in the Silver Plume area, and his parents said he was having a mental breakdown.

When deputies arrived, they demanded Glass exit the vehicle, but he stayed in the driver's seat for more than an hour. Glass said he was terrified and wanted to stay in the car.

Law enforcement used what is considered non-lethal methods to try and remove Glass from the car — those included firing bean bag rounds and using a taser. Officers also broke his passenger window.

The moments leading up to the shooting are debated by attorneys on both sides — but Buen shot Glass several times, killing him. The shooting was captured by body-worn cameras. The autopsy states Glass sustained six gunshot wounds.

Buen pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, first-degree official misconduct, and reckless endangerment.

If the jury does not find Buen guilty of second-degree murder, they must then decide if he is guilty of manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide.

Police Shooting Family Scrutiny


Christian Glass: Opening statements begin in trial of former Clear Creek deputy

Jeff Anastasio
6:21 PM, Apr 12, 2024

On Wednesday, prosecutors and defense attorneys presented their closing arguments to a jury composed of mostly women.

Sally and Simon Glass sat in the first row for closing arguments, wearing their son's favorite color pink. Sally held a small book in her hand during the proceeding, which we're told was given to her by her son. She also clung to a small heart with her son's name etched onto it.

Several times, Sally and Simon broke down in the courtroom during different portions of closing arguments.

Buen's family and friends were packed into the pews on his side of the courtroom as well.

District Attorney Heidi McCollum said during her closing arguments that at no time was Glass a danger to himself or anyone else. He barricaded himself inside of his car because he was afraid of what would happen.

McCollum argued there was no reason to be so determined to remove Glass from the car. Instead, she believes officers should have worked to calm Glass down. She said Buen had over 20 hours of SWAT and de-escalation training in 2022 alone.

Buen did not give Glass a moment to respond, according to McCollum, and continued giving order after order.

The DA claimed Glass never made any gesture indicating a threat toward law enforcement, but it did not matter to officers what Glass did. She said Glass grabbed a knife when reacting to his passenger window being smashed by deputies, invading what he considered his safe space.

Jury deliberations begin in former Clear Creek Deputy Andrew Buen's trial

With officers surrounding the car and bean bag rounds being fired, McCollum said Glass was like "an animal in a cage, being poked and prodded. Things needed to calm down so he could rationally understand what was going on."

Near the end of closing arguments, McCollum asked the jury "How could Christian win that night? Maybe the better question is, how could Christian live that night?"

Defense Attorney Carrie Slinkard said every other officer on scene that night said Buen's actions were justified because Glass presented a threat to officers. She said the only reason shots were fired was because Glass swung his hand outside a back window and toward another officer.

Slinkard continued to say the DA "is apparently sitting here and saying that anyone who gets pulled over for a DUI in the future, or any crime for that matter, can just sit in their car, roll the windows up, not communicate, and just keep cops there forever."

However, Glass was not stopped by police. Glass called law enforcement to the scene. His autopsy report also shows a 0.01% blood alcohol concentration — in Colorado, the legal limit is a 0.08%.

Slinkard also said it does not make sense that Glass was reasonable during the 911 call but was suffering such an extreme mental health crisis that he could not comply with law enforcement requests. She argued Glass did not want to get out of the car because he feared he would get in trouble, and had a joint in the car.

Toward the end of her closing arguments, Slinkard claimed this was a "no-win" situation for Buen. She said nobody wanted Glass to die that night, but actions were taken in response to the behaviors that endangered another man's life.

Tabitha Farrar has been in the courtroom for as many days as possible to support Simon and Sally Glass. She has been friends with them for around five years.

"I did not want them to sit through it [the trial], because I knew it would be so difficult for them to, but they wanted to be there. They wanted to represent their son. They have been so brave to sit through over a week of listening to very intense details about what happened. It's hard enough for any of us that have learned that, but they did it because they thought that it was the right thing to do for their son," said Farrar.

Farrar said what happened to Glass was unacceptable, and is not how anyone should be treated under such circumstances.

“What I really hope the jury is going to be thinking about is what's the precedent here? Are we going to be okay with people being shot for being afraid and not getting out of a car?" said Farrar. “This is a really, really heinous thing that just happened. And I think that everybody needs to pay attention to what it's saying about the state of the police force in the United States of America... If this could happen to Christian, it could happen to anyone's child.”

When some of Buen's family members exited the courthouse, Denver7 overheard them say it felt like they had lost someone too throughout this process.

Now, all that can be done is wait for a verdict from the jury.