LAS VEGAS (AP) — A former Las Vegas-area politician has been indicted on one count of murder, which carries the possibility of the death penalty, in the slaying of a veteran investigative journalist who wrote articles critical of him and their managerial conduct.
Robert “Rob” Telles, 45, was charged Thursday and is scheduled to be arraigned next Wednesday in Clark County District Court, according to court records.
One of Telles’ court-appointed attorneys, Edward Kane, declined to comment on the indictment, a move by prosecutors that means Telles will not face a preliminary evidentiary hearing that was scheduled for next week.
Telles, 45, a Democrat, lost his party’s primary in June and was stripped by court order of his position as Clark County administrator, heading the office that handles the assets of people who die without a will or contacts. relatives.
The state Supreme Court suspended Telles’s attorney’s license pending an investigation by the Nevada State Bar Association into allegations of embezzlement of 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 has said he will make a decision in the coming weeks whether Telles will face the death penalty.
Prosecutors have characterized the evidence against Telles as overwhelming, including DNA believed to be Telles’s found under German’s fingernails; video showing a man believed to be Telles walking near German’s home; and a vehicle believed to be Telles’s in the area.
Germán, 69, was widely respected for his tenacity 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 before the state Supreme Court over concerns about the disclosure of German’s confidential notes and sources.
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 has a motive. to kill Germany.
The Review-Journal, backed by dozens of media organizations, argues that the government should not be able to access German’s cell phone and electronic devices.
The newspaper cites Nevada’s so-called “news shield law,” which is among the strictest in the country, along with the federal Privacy Protection Act and First Amendment guarantees.
The Review-Journal reported on Friday that Telles was assigned two Clark County deputy public defenders at public expense despite telling the court last month that he and his wife were earning $20,500 per month prior to his arrest and that he owns five rental homes in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Property records show the couple also own a Las Vegas home with a taxable value of more than $320,000.