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Crime News Breaking News

Las Vegas Politician Arrested For Murder Of Local Investigative Journalist

Veteran Law Vegas journalist Jeff German was stabbed to death in front of his home and Robert Telles, a local official who allegedly blamed the victim for his primary election loss, has been arrested. 

By Jax Miller
Killer Motive: What Drives People To Kill?

A local politician has been arrested for the murder of a beloved Las Vegas journalist.

Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German, 69, was stabbed to death on Friday in what authorities initially thought might have been a random incident.

On Wednesday night, however, officials with the Las Vegas Metro Police Department said they’d made an arrest — but stopped short of naming the person.

Jail records reviewed by Oxygen.com show former Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles — whose residence was searched as part of the murder investigation on Wednesday, according to the Review-Journal — was charged with open murder on Wednesday.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo confirmed that Telles, 45, was arrested in connection to German’s murder during a live press conference Thursday afternoon, after that Telles’ DNA was allegedly found at the crime scene.

Lombardo said investigators were still looking at a “distorted” video that may have captured the murder.

A police handout of suspect Robert Telles

Following Thursday’s press conference, police released two photos showing alleged evidence they say ties Telles to German’s murder, including a bloodied sneaker and a straw hat cut into pieces. Both matched previous footage released of the suspect.

“This [was] a terrible and jarring homicide, one that has deeply impacted Las Vegas,” said Sheriff Lombardo. “Every murder is tragic, but the killing of a journalist is particularly troublesome.”

Telles was the focus of an investigative report by German, who accused the public administrator of "public wrongdoing” — an exposé that reportedly contributed to Telles losing his Democratic primary in June, according to the Review-Journal. German was also allegedly pursuing a follow-up story in the days and weeks preceding his death.

A personal photo of Jeff German

As part of German’s follow-up investigation, he filed several public records requests to see email and text exchanges between Telles and three county officials, including the assistant public administrator, an estate coordinator and a consultant. According to German and his sources, the estate coordinator — who once served as one of Telles' staffers — was involved in an “inappropriate relationship” with Telles.

“The arrest of Robert Telles is at once an enormous relief and an outrage for the Review-Journal newsroom,” said the outlet’s executive editor, Glenn Cook. “We are relieved Telles is in custody and outraged that a colleague appears to have been killed for reporting on an elected official. Journalists can’t do the important work our communities require if they are afraid a presentation of facts could lead to violent retribution.”

A police handout of suspect Robert Telles' shoe

LVMPD officers were called to a Bronze Circle residence on Saturday morning, where German was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a police press release. He was believed to have died sometime between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. the previous day.

Authorities updated the release to include video footage of the person they believed was responsible for the deadly attack, showing an individual wearing a long-sleeved orange jacket, a large sun hat, gloves and light-colored sneakers.

Police initially announced their belief that the suspect may have been “potentially casing the area to commit other crimes.”

A police handout of suspect Robert Telles' hat

Police later released a photo of a red- or maroon-colored GMC Yukon they caught in connection to the crime.

Two vehicles, including a GMC Yukon matching the one police sought, were towed from Telles’ home on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Review-Journal. The Spanish Steps Lane address is just six miles from where German was murdered.

“We thank Las Vegas police for their urgency and hard work and for immediately recognizing the terrible significance of Jeff’s killing,” continued Cook. “Now, hopefully, the Review-Journal, the German family and his many friends can begin the process of mourning and honoring a great man and a brave reporter.”

The suspect wanted in the death of Jeff German

On Thursday, the family of Jeff German broke their silence by issuing a statement, which was published on Twitter by the Review-Journal.

“Jeff was a loving and loyal brother, uncle and friend who devoted his life to his work, exposing wrongdoing in Las Vegas and beyond,” they wrote. “We’re shocked, saddened and angry about his death.

“Jeff was committed to seeking justice for others and would appreciate the hard work by local police and journalists in pursuing his killer,” the family continued. “We look forward to seeing justice done in this case. We also want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love, support, and recognition for Jess and his life’s work.”

German joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2010 after more than 20 years with the Las Vegas Sun. Colleagues referred to him as a “hard news guy” with a keen interest in reporting organized crime and local government. He also wrote and hosted Season 2 of the true-crime podcast “Mobbed Up: The Fight For Vegas” and helped form a partnership between the Review-Journal and the Mob Museum.

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