A former Colorado sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty this week to failing to intervene in connection with the shooting death last year of a man who had called 911 for roadside assistance, prosecutors said Friday. Six other law enforcement officers who responded to the 911 call were also charged in the case.
As part of a plea deal, former sheriff’s deputy Kyle Gould, who worked for the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Department, was sentenced Thursday to two years of probation and will be prohibited from ever working in law enforcement again. law enforcement, the Fifth Judicial District district attorney’s office said in a statement. Under the agreement, the most serious charges of criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment that had been filed against Gould in the shooting death of 22-year-old Christian Glass were dropped.
Bob Weiner, an attorney representing Gould, said Friday that Gould was home and off duty on June 10, 2022, the night of the shooting. Still, Gould was determined to have played a role in the fatal shooting as a supervisor of one of the officers who responded to the 911 call.
The shooting caused a $19 million settlement for family of Mr. Glass and led the Colorado State Patrol to change the way its officers train to handle high-stress situations.
Heidi McCollum, prosecutor for the Fifth Judicial District, said in the statement that “law enforcement officers must be held accountable for their actions when carrying out their trusted public service duties.”
Glass had called 911 for help on June 10, 2022, after his vehicle got stuck on a mountain road at night outside Denver. About a half-dozen law enforcement officers from several agencies who responded to the call spent more than an hour trying to persuade Mr. Glass to exit the vehicle.
Mr Glass had a knife in his hand and the situation then escalated. The officers used a stun gun on Mr. Glass and fired bullets at him before he was fatally shot. Sally Glass, his mother, previously said her son was “having a mental health episode.”
Denver Post reported that Steve Potts, the chief deputy prosecutor of the Fifth Judicial District, told the court on Thursday that Deputy Andrew Buen of the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office had contacted Mr. Gould at his home the night of the shooting and that Mr. Gould had approved the actions that ultimately led to Mr. Glass’s death.
Lawyers for the Glass family said Buen had shot and killed Mr. Glass.
Mr. Buen was accused last year with second-degree murder, official misconduct and reckless endangerment. Buen pleaded not guilty to all three charges on Nov. 2, according to the district attorney’s office. His next court date is scheduled for December 20.
The six law enforcement officers who were charged Thursday each face one count of failure to intervene, a misdemeanor, according to the district attorney’s office. The officers charged were Randy Williams, Georgetown City Marshal; Officer Timothy Collins of the Georgetown Police Department; Officer Brittany Morrow of the Idaho Springs Police Department; Trooper Ryan Bennie of the Colorado State Patrol; and officers Christa Lloyd and Mary J. Harris of the Colorado Gaming Division. Marshal Williams was also charged with third-degree assault.
Lawyers representing Mr. Glass’s family said in a statement Thursday that the six accused law enforcement officers were given “ample opportunity to stop the unwarranted and senseless use of force against Christian Glass.”
“They participated in and enabled a plan to use criminal and unlawful force against Christian,” the attorneys said. “If any of these six officers had done the right thing, Christian would be alive today.”
The six charged law enforcement officers did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday.
It was unclear Friday if they had lawyers. They are all scheduled to appear in court on December 12.
Chief Nathan Buseck of the Idaho Springs Police Department said in a statement Friday that he “firmly” believed “Officer Morrow was not in a position to intervene.” Officer Morrow will continue to work patrol duties as the case develops, he said.
Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol, said in a statement that he had found “no indication that Trooper Bennie violated any Colorado State Patrol policy or training.”
“I am shocked by the district attorney’s decision to file charges against Officer Bennie,” Colonel Packard said, adding that Officer Bennie would be reassigned to an administrative position.
The Colorado Division of Gaming declined to comment Friday, citing pending litigation. The Georgetown Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.