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Official Jailed for Murder of Las Vegas Journalist Due to Court

LAS VEGAS– A local elected official will face a judge on a murder charge Tuesday in the stabbing death of a Las Vegas investigative journalist who wrote articles critical of him and his managerial conduct.

Robert Richard Telles, the public administrator for Clark County, has been jailed without bail since his arrest on September 7 for the murder of veteran Las Vegas Review-Journal writer Jeff German on September 2.

A criminal complaint accuses Telles of “stalking” German, 69, who prosecutors say was stabbed seven times. Germán lived alone and his body was found the next day. The Clark County coroner ruled his death a homicide.

Telles, 45, was arrested after police asked for help over Labor Day weekend to identify a person wearing an orange work shirt and wide-brimmed straw hat with a shoulder bag and I was walking to German’s house on the morning of September 2. Police also released images of a distinctive SUV seen near German’s home, driven by a person wearing an orange shirt.

A Review-Journal photographer took photos Sept. 6 of Telles washing the same type of vehicle in his driveway.

Police said Telles turned off his cell phone and waited in a vehicle outside German’s home until the attack. It was characterized as a planned response to articles German wrote about “internal turmoil and dissension” in the county office that handles the estates of people who die without a will or family contacts.

Telles lost his primary bid for re-election in June after allegations of administrative intimidation, favoritism and Telles’s relationship with a subordinate staff member were published in May. County lawmakers appointed a consultant to address complaints about leadership in his office.

German was widely respected for his tenacity, and colleagues said he was working on follow-up reports on Telles and the public administrator’s office when he died.

“The published articles … ruined (Teller’s) political career, probably his marriage, and he was the one who lashed out,” Clark County Deputy Chief Prosecutor Richard Scow told a judge on September 8. .

That judge, Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Elana Lee Graham, called the police report detailing the attack “chilling” and said it depicts German “fighting for his life.” She spoke of apparent defense injuries on German’s arms and said that DNA believed to be Telles’s was found under German’s fingernails.

Police said a search warrant found items at Telles’ home, including blood-stained shoes and a straw hat that had been hacked to pieces. Authorities said they did not immediately find the gun used to kill German.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, a Republican who ran for governor in November, said investigators also obtained security video that could show the attack.

The Nevada Press Association has announced that German will be inducted this Saturday into the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame.

German joined the Review-Journal in 2010 after more than two decades at the rival Las Vegas Sun, where he was a columnist and reporter covering the courts, politics, labor, government and organized crime.

Telles grew up in El Paso, Texas, and lived in Colorado before moving to Las Vegas. He worked as a heating and air conditioning technician and is a 2014 graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, School of Law. He practiced probate and probate law before being elected public administrator in 2018, succeeding a three-term predecessor.

The Review-Journal reported that in El Paso, Telles’ late grandfather, Richard Telles, served as city clerk, school board trustee and county commissioner. A great-uncle, Raymond L. Telles Jr., was the first Mexican-American mayor of the city and was appointed by President John F. Kennedy as Ambassador to Costa Rica and by President Lyndon B. Johnson as Chairman of the Border Commission. Mexico united states. .

Telles’ father, Raymond R. Telles, was elected to two terms on the El Paso City Council, but lost a run for mayor. He later gave up his law license and avoided prison after pleading guilty in a federal wire fraud conspiracy case.

Court and police records show that Robert Telles was arrested in Las Vegas in February 2020 after his wife called 911. He was accused of grabbing her in a “‘bear hug’ position” and resisting the efforts of two police officers. to handcuff him. During his arrest, police body cameras recorded Telles acknowledging that he had been drinking alcohol and repeatedly identifying himself as a public official.

The case was dismissed and closed in March 2021 after Telles paid a $418 fine, attended counseling and stayed out of trouble.

His term in office expires on December 1. Jan. 31, but Clark County officials said he is suspended and barred from county offices or property pending a review of his tenure as an elected official.

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