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Testimony continues in murder trial for former deputy in Colorado accused of killing Christian Glass

Testimony continues in trial for former deputy accused of killing Christian Glass
Testimony continues in trial for former deputy accused of killing Christian Glass 04:04

While closing arguments are expected in a Colorado courtroom within the week for the trial of Andrew Buen, the man charged with killing 22-year-old Christian Glass, the defense is now getting their turn to call in witnesses. After the prosecution rested its argument, the defense for former Clear Creek County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Buen called their first set of witnesses, the second of them being Lewis "Von" Kliem, Chief Executive Officer for Force Science, who took up the majority of the time on Monday.

After a lengthy introduction in which eventually the judge was forced to intervene and ask Kliem to speak less so the defense could actually hold their line of questioning, Kliem went on to explain his expertise in the use of force, and why it was relevant to his opinion and understanding to what happened in the early hours of June 11, 2022.

Trial for former Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Buen charged with second-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Christian Glass
GEORGETOWN, COLORADO - APRIL 15: Former Clear Creek County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Buen arrives to Clear Creek County Courthouse in Georgetown, Colorado on April 15, 2024. The jury trial began Monday for the former Clear Creek County Sheriff's Deputy, who is being charged with second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and official misconduct in the death of 22-year-old Christian Glass after Glass called 911 for help in 2022. RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

One of those opinions was regarding the fact Buen would not allow Glass to rid himself of the weapons in his car, which were later used by Glass after being assaulted by law enforcement, and then used as justification of use of force from Buen. When Glass first called the dispatcher for help that night, he asked if he could throw the knives and hammers he had on him in his car (the prosecution explains they were tools for excavating rocks) out the window because "I understand this is a dodgy situation." He does not but asks again as soon as law enforcement (including Buen) arrives on the scene. Buen tells him not to throw the weapons out the car window. 

The defense said that is a natural thing to expect of officers. 

"We would never assume it was sufficient for somebody to throw their own weapons out," Kliem said. "That is tantamount to having your suspect clear their own vehicle, make sure there's no weapons in it."

The prosecution said the fact that Buen rejected that offer, and the knives in the car Glass offered to throw out was what law enforcement says escalated the situation (along with Glass's refusal to leave the car) was the impetus for the issue at the very start. 

In cross-examination, the district attorney's office asked Kliem about how they got to the point where police felt they had to start using force.

Six more officers have been charged in connection with the death of Christian Glass. Clear Creek County

"He wasn't agitated until they shot him with beanbag rounds right?" the attorney asked. 

"At that stage, correct," Kliem said. 

Those two were consistently combative on the stand to the point where the judge had to tell them to get along for the good of the case more than once. Another contentious moment occurred when the prosecution attempted to argue there wasn't a time limit for this event, Glass had crashed his car and couldn't leave in it and was refusing to leave the car altogether. 

"The compression of time would have been impacted by medical concern of overdose," Kliem argued. "That was the first time there was a time constraint."

"Deputy Buen never said he was worried in the interview about overdose," the DA's Office countered. "Nobody said anything on the body cam about overdose."

Christian Glass Glass Family

Kliem worked with the defense attorneys to say officers on the scene could not have fully understood the mental state Glass was in that night, whether he was DUI or having a mental episode. The prosecution refuted that, saying in his first call it was clear he was having a mental health crisis considering he was worried about "skinwalkers" approaching his car. 

This is not the last witness the defense plans to call, including former Clear Creek County Sheriff's Kyle Gould, who has already pleaded guilty for his part in the Glass case. CBS News Colorado will stick with the story and keep you updated. 

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