October 5, 2022
Politician’s DNA linked to murder of Las Vegas journalist, police say

Las Vegas police said Thursday they have linked the DNA of a county official to the recent murder of investigative journalist Jeff German, whose coverage of alleged misconduct ultimately contributed to the officer losing his primary election this summer.

at a press conferenceClark County Public Administrator Robert Telles was arrested from his Las Vegas home and charged with murder with a deadly weapon Wednesday night, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said. The 45-year-old Democrat was carried out of his home on a stretcher in what police said were his own wounds that were not life-threatening.

Tels, 45, is accused of stabbing to death a reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Police said they found German’s body outside the journalist’s house on Saturday morning and was probably killed on Friday morning.

“It’s been an unusual case from the beginning, the murder of an investigative journalist and the prime suspect here in Clark County, of an elected official,” Lombardo said. “This is a horrific and disturbing murder that has deeply affected Las Vegas. Every murder is tragic, but the murder of a journalist is particularly distressing.”

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (left) and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Capt. Dory Koren question a news conference on the arrest of Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles, whose booking photo is displayed on a monitor.  Telles is accused of stabbing Jeff German, an investigative reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (left) and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Capt. Dory Koren question a news conference on the arrest of Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles, whose booking photo is displayed on a monitor. Telles is accused of stabbing Jeff German, an investigative reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Ethan Miller via Getty Images

Captain Dory Koren of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police’s Homicide Division said a man was documented on surveillance images headed to German’s home on Friday and then to his home. The man was wearing a straw hat, a bright orange long-sleeved shirt and gray sneakers, and was carrying a duffel bag. When the German exited his house through the garage door and went to the side of the house, the intruder had a fight with him and the journalist was stabbed several times.

Police identified a vehicle seen driving in German’s neighborhood on the morning of the murder, before and at the time of the murder. Koren also said that the person described by police had fled in that vehicle, a maroon GMC Yukon Denali SUV with chrome handles, a sunroof and a luggage rack.

Telles became a person of interest because of his publicly expressed hatred for the 69-year-old journalist and because a vehicle matching the description of the killer’s car was parked in front of his home. Video evidence showed the car leaving the Telles’ home on the morning of the murder and returning shortly after the estimated time of death. Police say they learned that Telles was driving the car that morning.

When law enforcement searched Telles’ home, vehicles and body, they said they found a pair of shoes matching the killer’s clothing, which were covered in blood and “potentially in a way of destroying evidence.” were cut off.” Police also said that they recovered a straw hat matching the description, which was similarly cut.

“One of the most important aspects of this investigation was waiting for the DNA results, and we got positive DNA results that showed the DNA of Robert Telles at the crime scene,” Koren said.

Lombardo said police had not yet recovered a weapon but that the investigation was still active. According to the Las Vegas Police Department, Telles was voluntarily interviewed by police and decided not to hire a lawyer. He is being held at the Clark County Detention Center.

“Jeff was a loving and loyal brother, uncle and friend who dedicated his life to exposing wrongdoing in Las Vegas and beyond. We are shocked, saddened and outraged by his death,” German’s family said Thursday. said in a statement received by Review-Journal.

“Jeff was committed to seeking justice for others and will appreciate the hard work by local police and journalists in pursuing his killer. We want to see justice done in this case.” “We want to thank everyone for the love, support and recognition for Jeff and his life’s work.”

German was a tenacious journalist who covered crime, the courts, government corruption and mob statistics in Las Vegas for decades. The journalist this year launched a months-long investigation into Telles’ office, which included allegations of abuse and an inappropriate relationship with an employee.

German’s investigation into possible wrongdoing led to public outcry by Tels, who regularly tweeted his anger at the reporter. After a series of stories on TELES, the official lost his re-election bid in the June primary.

According to police, Telles was also upset that the Germans were reporting extra on the officer. The journalist recently filed public records requests for emails and texts between Telles and three other county officials—one of whom was identified in previous stories because of an alleged relationship with the employee Telles, according to the Review-Journal. .

Robert Telles at an event outside the office of US Representative Joe Heck (R-Nav) in March 2014 to protest Congress's failure to act on comprehensive immigration reform.  Police have arrested Tails in connection with the murder of a Las Vegas reporter.
Robert Telles at an event outside the office of US Representative Joe Heck (R-Nav) in March 2014 to protest Congress’s failure to act on comprehensive immigration reform. Police have arrested Tails in connection with the murder of a Las Vegas reporter.

Eric Verduzko / Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP

“The death of Jeff German was both shocking and tragic, and we are shocked by how this situation has evolved over the past few days,” county spokeswoman Stacy Welling said in a statement. “Clark County continues to cooperate with the LVMPD on this active investigation. Our condolences at the Review-Journal are with the family, friends and colleagues of Jeff German.

The county said it is “reviewing its options under the law” of Tels’ position as public administrator, which is an elected office. The county has suspended Tels’ access to county offices and property for “the safety of our county employees and the public” and states that staff at the administrator’s office will be working remotely while the office remains closed “unless It is not determined when this may open.”

“When county management was made aware of personnel issues at the Public Administrator’s Office a few months ago, the decision was made not to staff the Public Administrator’s Office report to Mr. The public elects a new public administrator in November,” Welling said.

Lombardo said on Thursday it was “an unfair place to speculate or consider” whether the German’s death was part of a nationwide normalization of violence against journalists.

“I think it needs to be said and noted because this is a journalist, and we expect journalism to be open and transparent and watchable for the government.” “And when people take the harm associated with that profession upon themselves, I think it’s very important that we all keep an eye on and address the matter appropriately – like we did in this case.”

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