Inside the arrest of Nevada public official Robert Telles

After Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative reporter Jeff German was found stabbed to death outside his home, police quickly zeroed in on Robert Telles – the subject of a series of articles German had written. 

Take a look at the events leading to Telles’ arrest.

Jeff German’s murder

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Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative reporter Jeff German. 

© Las Vegas Review-Journal, Inc./Kevin Cannon


On Sept. 3, 2022, Jeff German’s body was found outside his home by a concerned neighbor.

The neighbor immediately called 911, but it was too late. German had already been dead for approximately 24 hours, according to authorities. He had suffered seven stab wounds to the neck and chest.

Surveillance video captures the attack

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The suspect is captured on a neighbor’s surveillance camera.

Clark County District Court


As the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department began its investigation, it discovered surveillance video from across the street that captured the attack. The video showed the alleged assailant walking into German’s side yard and hiding behind the gate. Moments later, according to police, German opened his garage door, walked to the side of his house, and was ambushed by the assailant.

Who wanted Jeff German dead?

Robert Telles
Jeff German had written four articles about Clark County public administrator Robert Telles’ alleged hostile behavior at the office.

© Las Vegas Review-Journal, Inc/Kevin Cannon


German’s colleagues at the Las Vegas Review-Journal were eager to get to the bottom of who killed him. And when they looked at who to consider, Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles quickly came to mind.

Telles had been the subject of German’s recent reporting. After four employees at the Clark County Public Administrator’s Office reached out to German with their claims of a toxic workplace under Telles, German took on their story. After his investigation, German wrote a series of articles about Telles’ alleged “bullying” and “hostility” in his office. Telles would later lose his bid for re-election in the primary.

Robert Telles’ tweets

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A series of tweets Robert Telles posted in response to Jeff German’s reporting. 

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 In response to German’s reporting, Telles posted a series of tweets.

Robert Telles’ prior arrest

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Robert Telles seen on police bodycam during his arrest in March 2020 for domestic battery and resisting arrest. 

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department


As the Review-Journal reporters began digging into Telles’ past, they learned that he had been arrested in March 2020, while he was the public administrator, for domestic battery and resisting arrest.

He was caught on police body camera video slurring his words and yelling, “You just want to take me down because I’m a public official.”

He received a suspended 90-day sentence on the resisting charge and was ordered to attend a corrective thinking class. The battery charge was dismissed.

Photo of the suspect revealed

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The suspect was wearing long sleeves, a reflective vest and a straw sun hat.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department


On Sept. 4, 2022 – two days after German’s murder – authorities released this surveillance photo of the suspect walking in German’s neighborhood wearing an orange reflective shirt and a large straw sun hat. Police urged the public to contact the LVMPD Homicide Section for any identifying tips.

The identical gait?

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When the police released a surveillance video, Review-Journal photographer Kevin Cannon immediately noticed something the big hat and orange reflective shirt couldn’t hide: the man’s walk; his gait. Cannon found a walking shot he had taken of Telles when German interviewed him at his office. The staff compared both videos side by side.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department/© Las Vegas Review-Journal, Inc./Kevin Cannon


Two days later, on Sept. 6, 2022, police released surveillance video of the suspect. Review-Journal photographer Kevin Cannon said he was immediately reminded of a walking shot he had taken of Telles when German interviewed him at his office.

“It was definitely the identical gait in my mind,” Cannon told “48 Hours.”

Photo of suspect’s car released

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The suspect’s car – a maroon Yukon Denali.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department


Then, police released this photo of the suspect’s car – a maroon Yukon Denali.

Investigators quickly began to receive tips that Telles also had a car that looked like this, which was registered to his wife. Later that day, German’s colleagues at the Review-Journal went to Telles’ home.

Robert Telles is photographed washing his car

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Robert Telles photographed washing his SUV in his driveway.

© Las Vegas Review-Journal, Inc./Benjamin Hager


When Review-Journal staffers got to Telles’ home, they witnessed Telles walk out to his driveway where a maroon Yukon Denali was parked and began washing it. One of the Review-Journal photographers crouched behind his steering wheel and captured this photo. 

Robert Telles brought in for questioning

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Robert Telles returned home after questioning and after police searched his home and cars. They also took a DNA sample.

© Las Vegas Review-Journal, Inc./Benjamin Hager


In the early morning of Sept. 7, 2022 – just five days after German’s murder – Telles was brought in for questioning as police searched his home and cars.

They also collected a DNA sample from Telles and took the jeans he was wearing into evidence. He was then brought back to his home wearing this white paper suit.

Evidence in Robert Telles’ home

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Inside Robert Telles’ home, investigators say they found gym shoes and a duffel bag similar to what was seen in the surveillance video.

Clark County District Court


A gym shoe and duffle bag were collected from Telles’ home. According to investigators, the items resembled what was seen in the surveillance video of the suspect.

Sun hat found in Robert Telles’ garage

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When they looked in the garage, detectives say they discovered a straw sun hat — or what was left of it.

Clark County District Court


Investigators also searched Telles’ garage and found pieces of a cut-up sun hat that was similar to the straw sun hat the suspect was seen wearing.

Robert Telles’ DNA found under Jeff German’s fingernails

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Jeff German, left, and Robert Telles

© Las Vegas Review-Journal, Inc./Kevin Cannon


Police said the most crucial piece of evidence came from the DNA sample that was taken from Telles earlier that day.

Authorities said they received positive DNA results that showed Telles’ DNA was found under German’s fingernails. 

Police go in for the arrest

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Police descend on Robert Telles’ home before his arrest.

KLAS-TV


With a DNA match apparently secured, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police descended on Telles’ home once again and began clearing the area for an arrest. However, Telles refused to leave his home.

Robert Telles taken into custody

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Review-Journal photographer Kevin Cannon was the only photographer that day to capture Robert Telles’ dramatic arrest. 

© Las Vegas Review-Journal, Inc./Kevin Cannon


According to police radio communication, Telles had made some “405 comments” – a code Las Vegas police use to indicate comments associated with self-harm. Based on those comments, police requested SWAT to move into Telles’ home.

Moments later, Telles was rolled out of his house on a stretcher and taken to the hospital for self-inflicted injuries.

Robert Telles indicted

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After Robert Telles was treated at the hospital for his self-inflicted injuries, he was booked into the Clark County Detention Center. Six weeks later, Telles was indicted by a grand jury for murder with use of a deadly weapon. 

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department


Six weeks after he was booked into the Clark County Detention Center, Telles was indicted by a grand jury for murder with the use of a deadly weapon. He has pleaded not guilty.

Robert Telles’ denials


Accused killer denies murdering Las Vegas reporter by
48 Hours on
YouTube

“48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant interviewed Telles at the Clark County Detention Center. Telles denied killing German and when he was asked about the evidence against him, including the cut-up sun hat, the maroon Yukon Denali and his DNA that was under German’s fingernails, he said, “I say that evidence or so-called evidence was planted along with the other items allegedly found in my home as well. And we will go ahead and prove that at trial.”

Telles’ trial is scheduled for March 18, 2024. 

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