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Suspect in reporter’s killing wants to represent himself

Updated February 7, 2023 - 7:20 pm

Court records filed by the most recent private attorney for Robert Telles indicate that the former Clark County Public Administrator now wants to represent himself against a murder charge in the killing of Review-Journal reporter Jeff German.

Damian Sheets filed a motion to withdraw as Telles’ defense counsel on Friday, two weeks after he first filed paperwork to represent him.

“Defendant has indicated that he would like to represent himself in proper person and has asked counsel to withdraw from representation,” according to the motion.

The motion also indicates there was a “breakdown in communication” between Telles and Sheets.

“As a result of our meeting with our client, we were obligated to move to withdraw,” Sheets said in a text message to the Review-Journal on Monday.

Telles declined an interview request from the Review-Journal on Monday, Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Luis Vidal said.

Sheets was the third private defense attorney to represent Telles, who has been charged with murder with a deadly weapon against a victim who is 60 or older.

Telles was initially represented by attorney Travis Shetler, until public defenders Edward Kane and David Lopez-Negrete were appointed to represent him. He then hired private attorney Ryan Helmick over the public defenders, days after the Review-Journal published an investigation showing that he was appointed representation despite having thousands of dollars in property assets.

Prosecutors have accused Telles of fatally stabbing German over articles he had written about Telles’ conduct as an elected official and claims he created a toxic work environment.

Telles remained in the Clark County Detention Center on Monday without bail. Another hearing in the case is scheduled for May 3.

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

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