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Telles hires Las Vegas defense attorney, plans to go to trial in March

Updated January 29, 2024 - 11:11 am

Former Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles has hired a prominent local attorney to represent him in his murder trial scheduled to start later this year.

Telles, 47, is accused of attacking and fatally stabbing Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative reporter Jeff German in September 2022 outside of German’s home, over articles the journalist had written about his conduct as an elected official.

Defense attorney Robert Draskovich told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he has been retained by Telles and his family to represent him during upcoming court proceedings. Draskovich said that he plans to file paperwork to represent Telles on Monday, and that he plans to keep the current trial date, scheduled for March 18.

“He’s looking forward to telling his story to a jury,” Draskovich said.

Draskovich has represented several recent high-profile clients, including one of the teenagers accused of the fatal beating of a Rancho High School student, and a man tied to the extremist boogaloo movement accused of planning to firebomb a power substation during 2020 protests.

Earlier this week, Chief District Judge Jerry Wiese denied Telles’ motion to remove District Judge Michelle Leavitt from overseeing the case. Telles has claimed that Leavitt has displayed bias against him and favoritism toward the district attorney’s office.

In an order filed Wednesday, Wiese wrote that Telles failed to “identify a single statement or extra-judicial act by Judge Leavitt that indicates any degree of bias whatsoever.”

Telles has claimed that a local real estate company, Compass Reality & Management, framed him for German’s killing. The firm has denied the accusation and has said it is looking into potential legal action against Telles.

Telles has been acting as his own attorney for nearly a year. He has made multiple requests to receive evidence from prosecutors and the Metropolitan Police Department, which he claims will prove that he was framed and was a victim of police misconduct during the investigation.

During a hearing in October, Telles said he was seeking police body camera footage from the day he was arrested. A Metro attorney said that video from a traffic stop hours before Telles was arrested was automatically removed from Metro’s records because it was not labeled as part of a homicide investigation.

“I’m concerned regarding steps that were taken on the part of Metro, and their failure to record initial contacts with him,” Draskovich said Friday.

Prosecutors have pointed to “overwhelming evidence” against Telles, including his DNA that was found underneath German’s fingernails. Pieces of clothing were also found at Telles’ home that matched the description of a suspect seen wandering German’s neighborhood the day he was killed.

Telles is set to appear in court for a status check on Feb. 7.

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

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