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Murder trial begins for former deputy in Colorado accused of killing Christian Glass

The murder trial for 22-year-old Christian Glass is underway in Clear Creek County. On Friday, a jury of 16 people heard opening statements in the trial of former Clear Creek County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Buen.

Clear Creek County

Buen is accused of firing the shots that killed Glass in the early morning hours of June 11, 2022. Glass had gotten one of his car wheels stuck on a boulder while trying to make a U-turn in Silver Plume. He called the police for help but was scared of the deputies who responded. His family says he was experiencing a mental health crisis at the time.

Glass told a 911 dispatcher and responding deputies that he had a hammer and a knife, among other tools, since he was an amateur geologist. He offered to throw the hammer and knives out of his car to make the deputies feel safer, but Buen, one of the first deputies on the scene, told Glass not to, according to the indictment.

Fifth Judicial District Attorney Heidi McCollum started her argument by describing Buen as eager to escalate the situation, compared to his teammates. 

"Within 19 seconds of Mr. Buen putting his car in park, he began to tell Christian Glass to get out of the car," said McCollum. 

Christian Glass

McCollum says Buen jumped at the chance to use weapons to force Glass out of the car, regardless of the fact that Glass was terrified and following all orders, aside from getting out of the car. She argues Buen pushed things past any reasonable, human response. 

"Do not lose sight of the crimes he committed in this case," said McCollum.     

The defense said the prosecution is sloppy and hasn't done their work, like tracking down a car that Glass said led him to Silver Plume that night, "There are fresh white scratches on the side of this vehicle, consistent with what he's saying on the vehicle, but because it doesn't make sense to the dispatcher at the time, the DA's office dismisses it completely and immediately chalks this up to a mental health issues."     

Buen's attorney said not only was Glass dangerous, but he was also under the influence, "They know he was DUI that night, they drew his blood and he was well over the limit… the fact they don't acknowledge that is concerning."

Andrew Buen Clear Creek County

In previous reporting, CBS News Colorado's Your Reporter in the Mountains Spencer Wilson quoted an expert who said while the toxicology report from Glass' autopsy showed alcohol, marijuana and amphetamines in his system, none of those levels were enough to count as under the influence, aside from a potentially high level of THC. 

Buen is facing charges of second-degree murder, first-degree official misconduct and reckless endangerment. 

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