Police unearth disturbing network of clues connecting Robert Telles to journalist Jeff German's murder
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA: Authorities revealed how a series of clues connected politician Robert Telles to the murder of journalist Jeff German, who was reporting on claims about the former's "toxic work environment."
The Clark County elected official, 45, was arrested Wednesday, September 7, on suspicion of murder just days after the reporter's brutal slaying. Telles served as Las Vegas public administrator before losing a re-election in June after German published a series of allegations against the politician. The 69-year-old Review-Journal reporter was found stabbed to death outside his home Saturday, September 3, when he was apparently in the middle of writing a follow-up story on Telles.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, investigators began gathering evidence against the public administrator after describing a vehicle they believed was tied to German's murder. Police were able to obtain surveillance footage that captured a confrontation on Friday, September 2, when they believe the reporter was killed. The video reportedly shows the killer walking away from the crime scene and returning six minutes later in a maroon GMC Yukon Denali. The vehicle description was matched with a photo of Telles' standing in his driveway in front of what appears to be the same car. This was the key clue that led to more chilling discoveries that further implicated Telles in the case.
We’re outside the home of Clark Co. Public Administrator Robert Telles.@LVMPD is executing a search warrant in connection with the murder of investigative journalist Jeff German.— Vanessa_Murphy (@Vanessa_Murphy) September 7, 2022
German had done several stories on Telles.
Suspect vehicle on left. Car in his driveway on right. pic.twitter.com/Pn5N5yPCVQ
Police obtained and executed a search warrant at Telles' home on Wednesday. During the search, they reportedly found clothing that matched what the suspect was wearing at the time of the crime. "As you can see there is apparent blood on the shoes, and the shoes were cut likely in a manner to try to destroy evidence," Capt Dori Koren said, noting that the hat was also cut in a similar manner. "One of the most important aspects of this investigation was waiting on the DNA results, and we received positive DNA results that showed Robert Telles' DNA at the crime scene," Koren revealed.
DNA from Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles found at the scene of the killing of Las Vegas investigative journalist Jeff German. Also, the straw hat & shoes seen in the suspect surveillance was found in his home. Per our sister station @8NewsNow pic.twitter.com/eOmKP9HUJe— Angela Ganote (@angelaganote) September 8, 2022
Telles' DNA reportedly matched samples that were found under German's fingernails. The haunting evidence was the final nail in the coffin for the elected official, and police subsequently planned to take him into custody without incident. Officers arrived at Telles' residence in tactical gear, and the official was later seen being wheeled out in a stretcher. Koren said the arrest was successful but Telles had sustained minor self-inflicted wounds in the process.
BREAKING: Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles is taken out of his house on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance. Telles has been arrested in the slaying of @reviewjournal investigative reporter Jeff German. Story: https://t.co/vAhxjgdlzU pic.twitter.com/heEsWlBvJr— Brett Clarkson (@BrettClarkson_) September 8, 2022
Telles was elected as a Democrat in 2018 but lost a re-election in June after German's bombshell investigative stories on him. The journalist reported on claims that Telles had created a hostile work environment and had also engaged in an "inappropriate relationship" with a staff member. However, both Telles and the staff member vehemently denied the claims.
PHOTOS: Outgoing Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles enters his garage as reporters try to ask him questions, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, in Las Vegas. (Steel Brooks/Las Vegas Review-Journal) pic.twitter.com/ZrS45hLObr— Las Vegas Review-Journal (@reviewjournal) September 7, 2022
The then public administrator went on to post several tweets taunting the reporter while the latter dished out the investigative pieces. "Looking forward to lying smear piece #4 by @JGermanRJ #onetrickpony I think he's mad that I haven't crawled into a hole and died," Telles wrote in one of his tweets.
Does the @LVRJ know that @JGermanRJ may be doing double duty on their dime? Do they know he basically made a veiled threat to make me take down my site with the truth after I already lost the election? #LasVegas pic.twitter.com/9H2szMAGtV— Rob Telles (@RobTellesLV) June 17, 2022
As mentioned, German was in the middle of a follow-up story on Telles at the time of his death.
German's loved ones held a private service for him on Wednesday. His heartbroken family released a statement the following day. "Jeff 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. We look forward to seeing justice done in this case," it added.
Glenn Cook, the executive editor for the Review-Journal, also released a statement on what German's tragic death meant for freedom of the press. "The arrest of Robert Telles is at once an enormous relief and outrage for the Review-Journal newsroom," Cook said in the statement. "We are relieved Telles is in custody and outraged that a colleague appears to have been killed for reporting on an elected official. We thank the Las Vegas police for their urgency and hard work and for immediately recognizing the terrible significance of Jeff's killing. Now, hopefully, the Review-Journal, the German family, and Jeff's many friends can begin the process of mourning and honor a great man and a brave reporter."