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Newly released video shows ‘disturbance’ at time of RJ reporter’s killing

Updated November 1, 2022 - 6:58 pm

Grand jury transcripts released Tuesday in the murder case against Robert Telles describe video of Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative reporter Jeff German being attacked outside his house.

“(German) opens the gate that leads from the front yard area to the backyard area,” Metropolitan Police Department Detective Clifford Mogg testified on Oct. 19. “Immediately as he opens up the gate he’s attacked by the suspect.”

Chief Deputy District Attorney Pamela Weckerly noted that “you can kind of see a disturbance on the right-hand side” of the video, according to the transcripts.

Security video from a neighbor’s house across the street also was released Tuesday and shows two distant figures in a confrontation next to German’s house. According to a PowerPoint presentation that prosecutors showed to the grand jury, the suspect walked into German’s backyard at 11:18 a.m. on Sept. 2 and waited about five minutes before German came outside and was attacked “within seconds.”

The suspect also is seen in the video leaving German’s house and arriving again in a maroon GMC Denali at about 11:30 a.m. He’s seen walking back toward where German’s body was found before driving away from the scene.

Telles, 46, was arrested Sept. 7, four days after German was found dead with stab wounds outside his Las Vegas home. The former Clark County public administrator is accused of fatally stabbing German, 69, who had reported on Telles and his role as an elected official.

A grand jury indicted Telles last month on a charge of murder with a deadly weapon against a victim who is 60 or older. Telles has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Grand jury proceedings are secret, though transcripts and evidence become public after an indictment is returned.

DNA taken from underneath the fingernails on German’s right hand matched Telles’ DNA, prosecutors have said. A forensic scientist testified during the grand jury hearing that it is “40.9 septillion times more likely” that the DNA came from German and Telles than from German “and an unknown random contributor.”

Roy Bailey, German’s neighbor of 26 years, also testified to the grand jury that he had noticed that German’s garage door was open on Sept. 2. Bailey testified that his wife had tried and failed to contact German, and that he walked to German’s house to close the garage door once it started to get dark.

The next day, the neighbor was going to call police to request a wellness check, but he decided to walk around the side of German’s house first. That’s when Bailey found German’s body lying on the ground.

“As I turned the corner I saw his leg and right away, you know, I knew it was Jeff,” Bailey testified.

Surveillance footage from neighbors showed a suspect walk up to German’s home the morning of Sept. 2. The suspect was wearing a straw hat, a reflective orange jacket and tennis shoes, and was carrying a duffel bag.

Investigators who searched Telles’ home found small cut-up pieces of a shoe in a gallon-size plastic bag underneath Telles’ couch, according to the transcripts. Cut-up pieces of a straw hat were found in a plastic bag stuffed inside a toolbox in Telles’ garage.

A black and gray duffel bag also was found inside Telles’ garage, according to the transcripts. Investigators did not find the reflective jacket the suspect in the security footage was seen wearing, according to the transcripts.

A forensic laboratory technologist testified that she tested pieces of shoes, pieces of the straw hat, a pair of scissors and a folding knife for traces of blood.

Blood was found on a piece of shoe and the handle of the scissors, but no blood was found on the straw hat or folding knife, according to the transcripts, which did not specify whose blood was found.

Surveillance footage also showed a suspect driving to German’s home in a maroon GMC Denali, which matches the description of a vehicle registered to Telles’ wife, according to authorities.

Hours after police released a photo of the vehicle on Sept. 6, Review-Journal reporters saw a vehicle matching that description in Telles’ driveway.

During the grand jury hearing, one juror asked Mogg how investigators determined that the Denali belonged to Telles, “when there might be the same color, make and model of other people who own them in the vicinity.”

Weckerly replied, “I don’t know that this is the witness who can testify to that.”

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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