LAS VEGAS — A former Las Vegas-area politician has been charged with murder — which carries the death penalty — for the murder of a veteran investigative journalist who wrote articles critical of him and his managerial conduct .
Robert “Rob” Telles, 45, was charged Thursday and arraigned next Wednesday in Clark County District Court, court records show.
One of Telles’ court-appointed lawyers, Edward Kane, declined to comment on the indictment, a move by prosecutors that means Telles will not face a preliminary evidence hearing that was scheduled for the week. next.
Telles, 45, a Democrat, lost his party’s primary in June and was stripped by court order of his position as Clark County administrator, head of the office that manages the assets of people who died without a will or family contacts.
The state Supreme Court suspended Telles’ law license pending an investigation by the Nevada State Bar into allegations that he misappropriated client funds.
He was arrested on September 7, several days after the September 2 stabbing death of Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German outside German’s home. Telles is being held without bond at the Clark County Jail.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said he will decide in the coming weeks whether Telles will face the death penalty.
Prosecutors called the evidence against Telles overwhelming, including DNA believed to be from Telles found under German’s fingernails; video showing a man believed to be Telles walking near German’s house; and a vehicle that would be that of Telles in the region.
German, 69, was widely respected for his toughness, and colleagues said he was working on follow-up reports on Telles and the public administrator’s office when he was killed.
A separate case is pending in the state Supreme Court regarding concerns over the disclosure of German’s confidential sources and notes.
A judge has issued an order preventing police from accessing the records, which police, prosecutors and Telles’ defense attorneys say they want to review for additional evidence – including the possibility that someone other than Telles had a motive for killing German.
The Review-Journal, with the support of dozens of media organizations, argues that the government should not be able to access Germans’ cell phones and electronic devices.
The newspaper cites Nevada’s so-called “information shield law,” which is among the strictest in the nation, as well as federal privacy law and First Amendment safeguards.
The Review-Journal reported Friday that Telles was assigned two assistant Clark County public defenders at state expense, despite reporting in court last month that he and his wife were earning $20,500 per months before his arrest and owned five rental homes in Hot Springs. , Arkansas.
Property records show the couple also own a home in Las Vegas with a taxable value of over $320,000.
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