DNA Match Leads to Politician’s Arrest in Reporter’s Killing

Authorities announced Thursday that DNA evidence linking an elected Nevada official now in custody to the murder of a Las Vegas journalist shows the official was “upset” about the issues the reporter was investigating.

Robert Telles, the 45-year-old public administrator of Clark County, Nevada, was defeated in his June reelection attempt due in large part to the impact of a series of negative articles published by Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative writer Jeff German earlier this year. Telles appeared in court for the first time on Thursday and was denied bail after being charged with one count of murder with a deadly weapon.

DNA Match Leads to Politician's Arrest in Reporter's Killing
DNA Match Leads to Politician’s Arrest in Reporter’s Killing

At a press conference on Thursday, fresh information was presented about the circumstances surrounding German, 69, who was stabbed to death outside his home last week.

According to Las Vegas police Capt. Dori Koren, “Telles was furious about pieces being written by German as an investigative journalist that uncovered probable malfeasance,” and Telles had recently found “there was additional reporting that was due” at the time of the incident.

After a lengthy confrontation at his residence, authorities arrested Telles on Wednesday night. Self-inflicted wounds are what landed him in the hospital, according to Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo. The Metropolitan Police Department of Las Vegas had barely finished searching his home and vehicle when they made the arrest.
Police say German was stabbed outside his northwest Las Vegas home on the night before his body was discovered on the side of his house by a 911 caller on Saturday.

A security camera photo showed the killer carrying a duffel bag and dressed in an orange work shirt with reflective stripes, gloves, and a wide-brimmed straw hat, leading authorities to speculate that he or she was casing German’s neighborhood “to conduct further crimes.”
Koren said Thursday that investigators had concluded Telles posed as a woman in order to hide his true identity and his ties to Germany.

Police say that a DNA sample taken from Telles on Wednesday while examining his property was a positive match for DNA found at the scene of German’s murder. The police issued an arrest warrant after getting the DNA test results later that day, leading to the hostage situation.

In addition to the weapon, police uncovered a pair of shoes covered in dried blood and a straw hat, Koren added, but the murder weapon had still not been located as of Thursday.
According to an arrest report obtained by the USA TODAY Network, German was the victim of a surprise attack during which he was stabbed many times. Detectives noted in their three-page investigation that German’s “defensive” wounds led them to suspect he had fought back. German’s fingernails had the criminal’s DNA.

According to the study, Telles was near the area where German was killed for almost half an hour on the morning of the incident. The suspect allegedly got up from attacking German afterward and “calmly strolled” away from his house, as stated in the report.

Within a short amount of time, the suspect returned to German’s home “to seek for something,” as stated in the report.
Telles, a former probate and estate attorney, was elected in 2018, succeeding a public administrator who had served three terms. He came in second place in the June primary election behind Assistant Public Administrator Rita Reid, who is now up against an opponent from the Republican Party in November. By the end of the year, Telles’s term will have come to a close.

The office was “mired in instability and internal discord” between veterans and new workers in the weeks leading up to the election, according to reports written in German with a byline by Telles.

Telles said that “old-timers” were to responsible for making false accusations of mistreatment against him because they lied about the depths of his relationship with a female employee. He boasted that his staff had “nearly doubled the productivity in the office” since the change.

The Review-Journal said that Telles later vented his frustration with German on Twitter, calling him a bully and saying that German was “obsessed” with him in June.

The newspaper reported on Wednesday that German, a writer known for his or her doggedness, was working on follow-up stories and had just filed public records requests for emails and text messages between Telles and three other county officials, including Reid and consultant Michael Murphy.