Robert Telles, 47, accused of killing Jeff German, 69, in 2022
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The former Clark County elected official accused of killing a Las Vegas investigative journalist says police were surveilling him and tracking his cell phone in the weeks before his arrest for murder, documents said.
Las Vegas Metro police arrested Robert Telles, 47, in September 2022 for the stabbing death of Jeff German. Prosecutors accuse Telles of targeting German because of articles he was writing about problems in the county’s public administrator’s office, which Telles ran.
German, 69, was found stabbed to death on Sept. 3, 2022, outside his home in the northwest valley near Tenaya Way and Vegas Drive. Detectives said they found Telles’ DNA under German’s fingernails, the 8 News Now Investigators first reported shortly after Telles’ arrest.
Telles was representing himself in court until recently when defense attorney Robert Draskovich stepped in. In documents filed last week, Draskovich said Metro police were tracking Telles’ cellphone as part of an investigation into a bribery scheme.
“The search warrant affidavit detailed that [a detective] received a tip that [Telles] was engaged in a scheme where he received bribes in exchange for assignment of home sales conducted on behalf of the Clark County Public Administrator’s office,” Draskovich wrote in court documents. “After receiving the warrant, [the detective] began surveilling [Telles], which included maintaining surveillance logs and video of the [Telles].”
Those logs ended after Telles’ arrest on Sept. 7, 2022, Draskovich said.
The day before his death, German had filed a records request with Clark County for “all electronic communications” between Telles and a staff member, documents said. Draskovich alleges the communications will show Telles “did not have a motive to commit the crime” of murder.
Draskovich also alleges Metro’s body camera storage system deleted videos of Telles’ arrest.
In his filing, Draskovich asked a judge to compel Metro to provide him with the entire case file regarding the bribery allegations, all body camera video, the emails German requested, and all other evidence, whether or not he or his client is aware of its existence.
During an interview with 8 News Now Investigator Vanessa Murphy in 2023, Telles said he was framed. During an interview with 8 News Now Investigator David Charns in September 2022, Telles refused to discuss German’s death.
Before Telles’ arrest in 2022, Metro police released a photo of an SUV connected to the crime, which investigators said matched one of Telles’ cars. Police released video and images of the suspect and said it appeared he was casing German’s neighborhood.
DNA evidence that connected Telles to the scene was found on a straw hat and shoes police confiscated as evidence from his home during a search, police said. The hat and shoes had been cut up to destroy the evidence.
In a series of tweets before German’s death, Telles became publicly critical of German’s reports. In one tweet, Telles wrote: “Wife hears rustling in the trash. Her: ‘Honey, is there a wild animal in the trash?’ Me: ‘No, dear. Looks like it’s @JGermanRJ going through our trash for his 4th story on me.’”
Telles last tweeted on July 3, 2022, claiming he lost his Democratic primary due to a “[manufactured] scandal.”
Telles remained in custody Tuesday without bail. He was due in court on Feb. 21 for a hearing on the request for evidence. A trial was scheduled to begin in March.