Robert Telles: A local Las Vegas official has been arrested for the murder of an investigative reporter who reported on him, sheriff says


“This is a terrible and shocking homicide that has deeply affected Las Vegas. Every murder is tragic, but the murder of a journalist is particularly harrowing,” Lombardo said at a press conference Thursday, presenting his condolences to German’s family, friends and colleagues. Review-Journal.

“We are … outraged that a colleague appears to have been killed for reporting on an elected official. Journalists cannot do the important work that our communities need if they fear that a presentation of the facts result in violent reprisals,” the newspaper wrote. editor-in-chief Glenn Cook said in a statement on Wednesday.

Telles has a court appearance scheduled for Thursday afternoon, according to Clark County Jail online records. CNN has contacted the Las Vegas Metro Police Department and Telles’ office and is working to determine his legal representation.

German was discovered outside his home on Saturday morning, although police believe the murder took place the day before.

According to Capt. Dori Koren of the LVMPD’s Homicide and Sex Crimes Bureau, the suspect approached German’s home on Friday and walked to the side of the house. German got out soon after and walked to the side of the house, where, Koren said Thursday, investigators believe an altercation occurred and German was stabbed multiple times.

Telles, who lost re-election in June, was identified as a person of interest early in the investigation, as authorities uncovered neighborhood watch footage capturing a vehicle seen at Telles’s home before and after the killing of Telles. German,” Koren said. The vehicle, registered to Telles’ wife, was also seen at German’s home at the time of his death.

“We ultimately developed video evidence to show that the vehicle, the GMC Denali parked outside Telles’ home, left around 9 a.m. on the day of the murder and returned around 12 p.m. immediately after the murder, which was consistent with our timeline.” Koren said.

Surveillance footage released over the weekend showed a suspect wearing a straw hat and an orange shirt, and investigators found a matching hat during a search of Telles’ home. The hat had been cut, Koren said, as if in an effort to conceal evidence.

Investigators also found blood on a pair of shoes that had been cut, “likely in an attempt to destroy evidence,” Koren said. Additionally, Telles’ DNA matched DNA found at the crime scene, he said.

Once the DNA result was positive, the authorities’ goal was to take Telles into custody as “safely as possible”.

“We managed to execute this operation yesterday and Telles was taken into safe custody,” Koren said, although he acknowledged that Telles was seen on a stretcher after sustaining “self-inflicted” injuries. “. He would not describe the injuries, but said they were not life threatening.

Las Vegas officers leave Robert Telles & # 39;  Wednesday at home.

The arrest is both a “relief” and an “outrage” for the victim’s editorial staff

The German was hailed by those who knew him or his work as an accomplished journalist who spent decades working in Las Vegas, covering everything from organized crime to corrupt government agencies to the 2017 mass shooting during of a music festival in Las Vegas – the deadliest in modern US history.
He was working on a story about Telles the week he was killed, according to the Review-Journal. Earlier this year, Telles was the subject of articles detailing his surveillance of his office, and German reported Telles created a hostile work environment and had an inappropriate relationship with a staff member.

Telles denied the reports, the Review-Journal said. First elected to the position in 2018, Telles lost his re-election bid in a Democratic primary in June.

Prior to German’s death, Telles posted several articles online detailing his issues with the journalist’s reporting, including his campaign website and in a letter to Germanin which he called the allegations “false” and insisted the reporter was trying to “drag me through the mud”.

Telles also said that he sought out an attorney in an effort to bring a lawsuit against the newspaper, but ultimately came to the conclusion that “to sue a newspaper, like the Las Vegas Review-Journal, is almost impossible”.

Telles also posted several tweets regarding German and his reporting.

Las Vegas police are asking for the public's help after a veteran journalist is found dead outside his home
“I can’t wait to lie on @JGermanRJ’s defamation piece #4. #onetrickpony I think it’s crazy that I didn’t crawl into a hole and die,” read a tweet from June 18in part.
A few days later, Telles tweeted“The typical bully. I can’t take a pound of criticism (sic) after throwing 100 pounds of BS. Up to article #4 now. You’d think he’d have better things to do.”

In his own statement Wednesday, Cook, the newspaper’s editor, said Telles’ arrest was “both a huge relief and an outrage to the Review-Journal newsroom.”

“We thank the Las Vegas police for their urgency and hard work and for immediately recognizing the terrible significance of Jeff’s murder. Now hopefully the Review-Journal, the German family and Jeff’s many friends can begin the process of grieving and honoring a great man and a brave journalist Godspeed, Jeff.

Killings of journalists are rare in the United States, and killings of journalists in retaliation for their work even rarer, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Eight journalists have been murdered in the US since 1992 when the nonprofit started tracking, including four in a 2018 mass shooting in the newsroom of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Maryland, he said.
“Las Vegas police acted quickly in identifying and arresting a suspect in the fatal assault of Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German,” said Carlos Martínez de la Serna, program director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, said in a statement Thursday. “Authorities must ensure that everyone involved in this terrible crime is identified and held accountable, and must make it clear that those who target journalists will be brought to justice.”

Rebecca Aguilar, president of the Society of Professional Journalists, said German’s murder was a “reminder that ordinary journalists around the world are putting their lives on the line to uncover the truth”.

“As the Review-Journal reported, many described Jeff as a fearless reporter, the embodiment of the First Amendment, who stood up for society’s downtrodden and had a strong sense of right and wrong,” Aguilar said. in a press release. “We should honor Jeff by continuing to be like him, a person of courage, compassion and commitment to the truth.”

The victim’s colleagues assisted in the investigation

At first, authorities focused on making sure German’s death was not tied to a burglary in addition to “investigating any work-related grievances or disputes” related to his reporting, Koren said.

“We knew that as an investigative journalist he had written several articles and that there were different allegations and statements about potential people who would be upset,” he said.

The Review-Journal was instrumental in providing information that helped investigators, Lombardo said Thursday, particularly in describing “German cases” previously and currently working.

Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles washes his car Tuesday outside his Las Vegas home.  Authorities served search warrants at Telles' home on Wednesday in connection with the stabbing murder of Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative reporter Jeff German.

German’s death was “embarrassing,” Lombardo said Thursday.

“We expect journalism to be open and transparent and to monitor government. And when people take it upon themselves to create harm associated with this profession, I think it’s very important that we put all eyes on that and that we handle the matter appropriately,” he said. , “as we did in this case, with this opportunity associated with it.”

Colleagues of German examining Google Maps noticed a brown SUV similar to the photo released by authorities in Telles’ driveway, said Arthur Kane, a Review-Journal reporter who had worked with German.

“Police came down and cordoned off the area, started searching his house,” Kane told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Wednesday. The SUV was the one registered to Telles’ wife, Kane said, and the vehicle was taken away by investigators.

In the meantime, the investigation continues, Lombardo said Thursday, and authorities are still pursuing “several leads” to “put other allegations to bed.”

CNN’s Paradise Afshar, Carroll Alvarado, Amir Vera, Jamiel Lynch, Nick Watt, Elizabeth Joseph, Hannah Sarisohn and Satyam Kaswala contributed to this report.

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