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Video from day of Telles’ arrest purged from police records, lawyer says

Updated October 31, 2023 - 3:03 pm

A former Clark County elected official accused of killing Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German told a judge on Tuesday that he was still seeking police body camera footage from the day he was arrested.

But an attorney with the Metropolitan Police Department told a judge that video from a traffic stop hours before he was arrested was automatically removed from Metro’s records because it was not labeled as part of a homicide investigation.

District Judge Michelle Leavitt had been set to consider Robert Telles’ motion to request a Franks hearing, which addresses whether search warrants were obtained using true statements from a police officer.

Telles told the judge that police “had a duty” to ensure the footage was protected, as he has requested all body-worn camera footage related to the investigation. Leavitt said if he wanted to address the issue, Telles could revise his motion for a hearing.

Metro’s lawyer Matthew Christian said videos from traffic stops are purged from the department’s records after a certain time frame. If labeled properly, the footage would have been preserved for trial, he said.

Prosecutors have accused Telles, Clark County’s former public administrator, of fatally stabbing German in September 2022 over articles German had written about his conduct as an elected official.

Telles, who is representing himself, has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge. He has claimed that what prosecutors have called “overwhelming evidence” against him was planted at his home.

According to prosecutors, the evidence against him includes his DNA that was found under German’s fingernails, and clothing at his home matching the description of a man seen walking in German’s neighborhood before he was attacked.

Telles has said he was the victim of police misconduct and has repeatedly requested evidence related to the timing of search warrants conducted during the investigation. During Tuesday’s hearing, Matthew Christian, who represents Metro, said he was working on providing information to Telles.

The judge gave Telles two weeks to revise his motion for a hearing on the search warrants and then set a deadline for prosecutors to respond by the end of November.

Meanwhile, Leavitt also set a status check for Nov. 15 to allow attorneys with the state and the Review-Journal to continue meeting outside of court to discuss the proposed search protocol for German’s personal devices.

The Nevada Supreme Court ruled in early October that the devices, which were seized by police after German’s killing, should be searched by third parties consisting of former U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen and former Clark County District Attorney David Roger.

Telles’ trial is scheduled for March 18.

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

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