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A screenshot from a bodycam of the night Christian Glass, 22, before he was shot and killed after Clear Creek County Sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call. (Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC screenshot)

Lawyers representing a former Clear Creek County sheriff’s sergeant who was on duty when Christian Glass was killed inside his car last year asked a judge to dismiss criminal charges against him, saying he wasn’t on scene and gave “the best advice he could” while monitoring the situation from home. 

Kyle Gould, who was fired from the sheriff’s office after a grand jury indicted him in November, authorized former deputy Andrew Buen to break the 22-year-old’s car window, but wanted him to use all other resources to try to get Glass out of the car first, according to court documents filed last week.

In court Monday, Gould’s attorneys argued that Gould gave his orders based on the situation described to him over the phone.

“There were seven police officers beside the road in Silver Plume on June 11, 2022. Kyle Gould wasn’t one of them,” his attorney Christopher Brousseau said. “Kyle Gould was at home, he wasn’t working, he was called. He was asked to give him input and advice and he wasn’t there.”

The grand jury determined the officers were not in imminent danger and that their decision to remove Glass from his car directly led to his death. Buen, a former Clear Creek County sheriff’s deputy, was one of the first officers to arrive on the scene and called Gould, a former shift supervisor, for advice, according to the motion filed last week.

“After Mr. Gould authorized Deputy Buen to breach the windows of Mr. Glass’s car, a series of events unfolded that he could not foresee,” Gould’s attorneys wrote in the motion. “Mr. Gould responded based on what he knew. He gave the best advice he could based on what he knew, and the situation as explained to him.”

In its indictment, the grand jury said there was no reason to believe Glass was a danger to any law enforcement officers, to himself or the public. 

But Gould’s attorneys argued that Glass did pose a risk to the community and that officers would not have been justified in letting him go. Glass showed signs of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, appeared to be experiencing a mental health episode and had knives in his car, according to the motion.

“That Mr. Glass was shot and killed is a tragedy. Mr Gould and his defense has sympathy for Mr. Glass’s family. They are understandably grieving. But it is not accurate to suggest that at the time on June 11, 2022, that Mr. Glass did not pose a potential danger to the public and/or himself,” they wrote in court documents.

Gould was charged with criminally negligent homicide, a felony, and reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor, for his involvement in the fatal shooting. Glass was shot and killed after he became stranded in the small mountain town of Silver Plume and called 911 for roadside help late at night.

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Video from the encounter shows that Glass, who made a heart with his hands toward the officers, said he was terrified and never got out of his car. 

An attorney for Buen said Monday in court they plan to file a similar motion by the end of the week. According to the grand jury indictment, Buen “fluctuated between conversational in tone to being verbally aggressive” toward Glass. After breaking a window, Buen shot Glass with six bean bag rounds, tasered him and then shot him five times with his gun — all within 90 seconds. 

Buen was indicted on charges of second-degree murder and misdemeanor counts of official misconduct and reckless endangerment.

Fifth Judicial District Court Judge Catherine Cheroutes did not make a ruling in court and set the next hearing for both Buen and Gould for April 17, pending her decision.

Olivia Prentzel

Olivia Prentzel is a general assignment writer for The Colorado Sun. Email: