Top Clark County official arrested on suspicion of murdering Las Vegas investigative reporter
A top Clark County official who was the subject of investigative stories by Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German was arrested Wednesday night on suspicion of murder after his home was searched by police in connection with the journalist’s fatal stabbing.
Clark County Administrator Robert Telles was taken into custody after a special weapons team entered his home, an official who was not authorized to discuss the arrest publicly told The Times.
Telles was wheeled out of his home on a stretcher after suffering an unspecified self-inflicted injury, said the source, who was not able to immediately provide further details to The Times.
“The suspect in the homicide that occurred on Sept. 2, 2022, has been taken into custody,” Las Vegas Metro police tweeted Wednesday night.
A police spokesperson could not immediately be reached for further information on the arrest.
Clark County jail records show Telles was booked Wednesday night on suspicion of murder and is scheduled to make an initial court appearance at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
Earlier Wednesday, police served the search warrant on Telles’ home. The county official lost a primary election in June after German’s stories exposed allegations of bullying, favoritism and an inappropriate relationship between Telles and a subordinate. Telles had publicly accused German of being a “bully” and running a “smear” campaign against him.
Award-winning reporter Jeff German was found dead with stab wounds outside his home Saturday morning. Police are searching for a suspect.
The search came a day after police announced they connected a red or maroon 2007 to 2014 GMC Yukon Denali to the fatal stabbing of German, 69, outside his northwest Las Vegas home. German was found Saturday morning, but investigators said they believe the slaying occurred Friday morning, and security video had tied the SUV to a suspect.
An SUV matching that description was towed from Telles’ driveway Wednesday morning as detectives searched the house. Las Vegas police released two images Tuesday they said were potential leads in the killing. One was an image of an unidentified suspect whose appearance was disguised by a wide straw hat, gloves and orange long-sleeve shirt. The man was seen casing the area. The second was of the Denali, which has chrome handles and a sunroof.
Las Vegas Metro police, following the search warrant initiation, acknowledged Wednesday morning it was “currently serving search warrants” in connection with German’s killing. The department would not provide specific addresses. It was unclear whether Telles is the only target of the warrants.
In a somewhat confusing series of statements, Las Vegas Metro police repeatedly called it an “isolated incident” when pressed about the danger to the public. But the department also said, “It appears the suspect was potentially casing the area to commit other crimes before the homicide occurred.”
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, German was working on a new story about Telles the week he was stabbed to death.
Telles, who remains in office until December, has publicly chastised German, accusing him in one tweet of writing a “lying smear piece” and in another of being a “bully.”
Executive Editor Glenn Cook said German hadn’t communicated any concerns over his safety to the paper’s leadership team.
“The arrest of Robert Telles is at once an enormous relief and an outrage for the Review-Journal newsroom,” Cook said in a statement to his newspaper Wednesday. “We are relieved Telles is in custody and outraged that a colleague appears to have been killed for reporting on an elected official. Journalists can’t do the important work our communities require if they are afraid a presentation of facts could lead to violent retribution.
“We thank Las Vegas police for their urgency and hard work and for immediately recognizing the terrible significance of Jeff’s killing. Now, hopefully, the Review-Journal, the German family and Jeff’s many friends can begin the process of mourning and honoring a great man and a brave reporter. Godspeed, Jeff.”
German was previously a longtime columnist and reporter for the Las Vegas Sun, where he covered courts, politics, labor, government and organized crime, according to his biography. He joined the Review-Journal in 2010, where his investigative work spanned stories on organized crime, political corruption and government failures.
Cook said German’s “bread and butter” was “breaking big stories,” with many of his investigations leading to significant reforms.
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