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Colorado sergeant who OKed use of force against Christian Glass sentenced to probation

A former Clear Creek County sheriff’s sergeant will not serve any jail time for his role in the killing of 22-year-old Christian Glass, a Boulder man who was shot by police after he called 911 for help while stuck on the side of the road and experiencing a mental health crisis.

Kyle Gould, 37, pleaded guilty to failing to intervene in the excessive use of force by another officer in Clear Creek district court on Thursday.

He was sentenced to two years of probation and a $1,000 fine for the misdemeanor charge. Gould must withdraw his Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training certification and is barred from ever working as a law enforcement officer or security personnel under the plea deal.

Gould was initially charged with criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment after he and former Clear Creek Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Buen were indicted by a grand jury in November 2022.

Buen pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and official misconduct on Nov. 2.

Gould was not at the scene when Glass was shot on June 11, 2022, but he still bore responsibility for Glass’ death, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Potts told the court Thursday.

Glass called 911 after crashing his car on an embankment in Silver Plume and told the dispatcher he was afraid of “skinwalkers” and people chasing him, according to earlier reporting.

Buen was among seven law enforcement officers from multiple agencies who responded to the call and spent an hour trying to coax Glass out of his car while he was experiencing delusions and paranoia.

Officers escalated the situation and made it worse, Potts said, and when Buen contacted his supervisor, Gould, Gould authorized the actions that led to Glass’ death.

“Mr. Gould had the opportunity to prevent this,” Potts said. “All the law enforcement officers at the scene had the opportunity to prevent this, and the fact is that they didn’t. If they had, we wouldn’t be here today.”

While Gould was not physically present at the scene, Potts added, his authority was present.

“I think all the officers who were there probably bear some responsibility for the death of Christian Glass,” Potts said.

Glass’ parents, Simon and Sally Glass, spoke through tears about how the loss of their son has impacted their lives.

Attempts by law enforcement to cover up what happened to Christian Glass marred his family’s ability to grieve, Simon Glass said in court.

“Instead of grieving and perhaps celebrating his short life, we were stunned and confused,” Simon Glass said. “Christian’s brutal torture and murder has destroyed our family. It will never be the same.”

Sally Glass said her son had gotten stuck on rocks and just wanted help.

“I hope that Mr. Gould now and throughout his life will think about being kinder and more compassionate to people that are in trouble,” she said.

The Glass family has already reached a record $19 million settlement against the state of Colorado and three local law enforcement agencies in Christian Glass’ death.

Gould’s attorney, Bob Weiner, said there was no cover-up by Gould, but he would not debate the facts of the case.

“We’ve accepted responsibility,” he said. “Mr. Gould is giving up his right to be a peace officer and doesn’t want to fight this out of respect for the Glass family and his desire to move on with his life.”

Weiner said Gould was at home in bed when he authorized the use of force “after all other negotiating tools were exhausted” and drove to the scene when he realized the situation wasn’t being resolved.

Gould did not speak during the hearing except to answer questions from District Court Judge Catherine Cheroutes.

Gould could have been sentenced to up to 364 days in jail, but the plea agreement recommended two years of probation.

Cheroutes said while she thought a jail sentence would be appropriate, she would not impose one for the benefit of everyone being able to move on in the case.

“Hopefully this plea deters and teaches law enforcement about what the consequences are of their actions,” Cheroutes said.

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