Nevada county official charged in connection with death of investigative journalist

Police in Las Vegas have charged a local elected official with murder in connection with the stabbing death of Jeff German, an investigative reporter with the Las Vegas Review-Journal who had spent the last few months exposing misdeeds and turmoil in the official’s office.

Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles, a 45-year-old Democrat, was taken into custody on Wednesday after police conducted a search in his home. On Thursday, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters Telles had been charged with murder after authorities found a positive match for Telles' DNA with the genetic material found underneath German's fingernails.

Telles appeared in court for the first time on Thursday afternoon, where a judge ordered he be held without bail until his arraignment.

Telles was the subject of a series of explosive articles by German, which described a mismanaged office where employees accused Telles of bullying, favoritism and, allegedly, an inappropriate relationship with another county official. After German’s initial reporting this spring, Telles lost his reelection bid, coming in third in the Democratic primary.

According to the Review-Journal, German had been seeking additional records regarding the public administrator’s office, which oversees the estates of deceased people.

Telles made no secret of his disdain for German, who had spent 40 years in Las Vegas reporting on corruption and crime among the city’s most powerful residents, including elected officials and casino operators. The public administrator repeatedly attacked German on Twitter, calling him a “typical bully” who “can't take a pound of criticism after slinging 100 pounds of BS.”

In June, Telles tweeted: “Looking forward to lying smear piece #4 by @JGermanRJ. #onetrickpony I think he's mad that I haven't crawled into a hole and died.”

German was found stabbed to death outside his Las Vegas home on Saturday morning, and authorities quickly zeroed in on Telles as a suspect. Police on Thursday laid out a trail of evidence they say connect him to the crime.

Surveillance footage from Friday morning, the day of the killing, showed an individual in a long-sleeved orange T-shirt with reflective strips and a broad straw hat that covered the face. Police later recovered a similar hat from Telles’ home that had been cut into pieces, as well as a pair of shoes that matched those worn by the suspect in the video, which had also been cut, likely to destroy evidence, authorities said.

Police said surveillance video showed the killer leave the crime scene before returning a few minutes later in a maroon GMC Yukon Denali — which matched the description of a car registered to Telles' wife.