Vegas Politician Upset Over Articles Exposing ‘Potential Wrongdoing’ Accused Of Killing Reporter

Robert Telles allegedly stabbed investigative journalist Jeff German multiple times during a surprise attack, authorities say.

September 12, 2022
This undated photo provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles, who was arrested Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, in the fatal stabbing of veteran Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German.

Robert Telles allegedly stabbed investigative journalist Jeff German multiple times during a surprise attack, authorities say.

Photo by: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

By: Aaron Rasmussen

An elected official upset over newspaper stories critical to his administration is accused of murdering an investigative reporter who worked on the pieces, Las Vegas authorities said.

DNA recovered from the murder scene led investigators to identify Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles, 45, as a suspect in the fatal stabbing of 69-year-old Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative reporter Jeff German, who was found dead outside his home on Sept. 3, 2022, USA Today reported.

“Telles was upset about articles being written by German as an investigative journalist that exposed potential wrongdoing,” Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Capt. Dori Koren said.

Koren added that Telles, who was also a lawyer specializing in probate and estate law, recently found out German had “additional reporting that was pending.”

On the day of the slaying, a security camera captured images of a person dressed in an orange shirt with reflective stripes, a straw hat, and gloves in German’s neighborhood.

According to an arrest report obtained by USA Today, German was stabbed seven times outside his home and defensive wounds show he likely fought back during the surprise attack. Tellis’ DNA allegedly was found under the reporter’s fingernails, police wrote in the document.

“The DNA is alleged to have been recovered from the hand of the victim, presumably during the time in which he was fighting for his life,” Justice of the Peace Elana Lee Graham said of the “chilling” detail, CNN reported.

Investigators searching Tellis’ property on Sept. 7 recovered bloodstained shoes as well as a straw hat, according to Capt. Koren. They also took a DNA sample from the suspect at the time.

Telles faces one count of murder with a deadly weapon. He’s being held without bail.

In 2018, Telles was elected to replace a three-term public administrator, but the Democrat’s time in office was set to expire on Dec. 31 after he lost his party primary in June to another candidate, who will face off against a Republican challenger this fall.

Prior to the primary, Telles appeared to be growing more and more disgruntled with German and the stories he was pursuing and reporting, including pieces about internal dissension and turmoil allegedly roiling Telles’ office.

At one point, according to the Review-Journal, Telles accused German on Twitter of being “obsessed” with him.

In a statement, Glenn Cook, the executive editor of the Review-Journal, noted Telles’ arrest “is at once an enormous relief and an outrage” for the publication’s newsroom.

“We are relieved Robert Telles is in custody and outraged that a colleague appears to have been killed for reporting on an elected official,” Cook said. “Journalists can’t do the important work our communities require if they are afraid a presentation of facts could lead to violent retribution.”

The victim’s family said in a statement that German, a 12-year veteran of the Review-Journal, was “a loving and loyal brother, uncle and friend who devoted his life to his work exposing wrongdoing in Las Vegas and beyond.”

“Jeff was committed to seeking justice for others and would appreciate the hard work by local police and journalists in pursuing his killer,” the statement continued. “We look forward to seeing justice done in this case.”

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