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Prosecutors move to introduce Review-Journal articles as evidence in murder trial

Updated February 14, 2024 - 6:32 pm

In preparation for Robert Telles’ upcoming murder trial, prosecutors have asked a judge to allow them to introduce Review-Journal articles as evidence to establish the alleged motive in killing reporter Jeff German.

Prosecutors have said the former Clark County public administrator fatally stabbed German outside of the reporter’s home on Sept. 2, 2022, because Telles was angry over articles German had written about his conduct as an elected official.

German had uncovered allegations of bullying and hostility within the public administrator’s office, and had reported on an alleged “inappropriate relationship” between Telles and a subordinate while Telles was running for public office.

In a motion filed Monday, prosecutors argued that German’s articles should be admitted as evidence because the “dynamics of the prior relationship between Telles and German is relevant” to the case.

Prosecutors wrote that they are not trying to use the articles to establish that Telles was “actually having an affair” or was “actually managing the Public Administrators Office unfairly,” but rather to show Telles was upset over the articles being published.

“The animosity and anger demonstrate a motive for the homicide and that German was not a stranger to Telles,” prosecutors wrote in the motion. “Telles blamed him for losing the primary race. It is evidence of motive.”

Telles’ attorney, Robert Draskovich, said Wednesday that he does not plan to oppose the state’s motion but that he also intends to introduce Review-Journal articles into evidence “concerning our theory of defense.” Draskovich has previously argued that prosecutors have not presented clear evidence that Telles intended to kill German.

Telles, who spent more than a year acting as his own attorney before hiring Draskovich, has pleaded not guilty and has maintained that he was the victim of police misconduct during the investigation. He has also alleged he was framed for German’s slaying by a local real estate firm, which has denied the accusation.

Monday’s motion further confirmed that law enforcement was tracking Telles’ phone before German was killed, as part of a separate investigation. Prosecutors wrote that police had location data from Telles’ phone “due to a different investigation.”

Draskovich filed paperwork last week requesting that a judge order prosecutors and police to produce evidence, including surveillance conducted on Telles as part of a bribery investigation.

The bribery investigation had previously been referenced in warrants a judge granted for investigators to search Telles’ home shortly after German’s death.

The day German was stabbed, surveillance footage captured a suspect wearing a large straw hat approaching German’s backyard. The footage showed a “disturbance” in the yard, and showed the suspect leaving German’s home and returning six minutes later in a SUV before “approaching German’s body,” prosecutors wrote in Monday’s motion.

Telles’ phone records show his cellphone was not near German’s home at the time he was killed. However, surveillance footage showed a SUV belonging to Telles and his wife, which matched the description of the suspect’s SUV, leaving Telles’ neighborhood and driving toward German’s house around the time of the killing.

Telles’ DNA was found underneath German’s fingernails, and a large, brimmed straw hat was found inside a grocery bag in Telles’ home, along with cut-up pieces of a shoe, prosecutors said.

Telles is scheduled to appear in court again on Feb. 21, and his trial is set to start March 18.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240.

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