Disgraced Las Vegas politician Robert Telles was seen smiling in court on Tuesday as prosecutors formally accused him of ‘waiting’ outside Jeff Germanbefore stabbing the investigative reporter at least seven times.
Such, 45, has been charged with open murder with the use of a deadly weapon in the September 2 murder of German outside his Las Vegas home. In a criminal complaint filed Monday in Clark County, prosecutors alleged that Telles was “wilful, deliberate and premeditated” as he targeted the 69-year-old. German had written several articles about Telles’ alleged misconduct as a county public administrator, a position for which he had recently lost a re-election bid.
The official, who is still technically being paid for his role before his term ends in December, was seen standing in the doorway of a Clark County courtroom for his arraignment on Tuesday, smiling with bandages rolled up around his forearms. During the brief hearing, Telles’ lawyers asked for an extension, which means he will be back in court next Tuesday.
Telles is currently being held without bond in the Clark County Jail and faces a life sentence. Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson told reporters outside the courtroom that prosecutors plan to seek a “very high” bond and that Telles “poses a flight risk and a danger to the community.”
Criminal defense attorney Ozzie Fumo, who was asked to help authorities get Telles out of his home on Wednesday to surrender, told The Daily Beast he went to see Telles in jail on Saturday .
“He was still on suicide watch,” Fumo said via text message Monday. “I only spent a few minutes with him. I confirmed to him that he had given my name to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to contact me. I explained to him that I would not be able to represent him in his case.
Telles’ defense attorney, Travis Shetler, could not be reached for comment.
While prosecutors are still sketching out a full motive, Chief Assistant District Attorney Richard Scow linked German’s reporting of Telles to the murder during a hearing last week.
“The articles published concerning a public figure, the office of the public administrator, have ruined [Telles’] political career, probably his marriage, and he was the one taking on the cause,” Scow said.
Las Vegas Metro Police Department Captain Dori Koren added last week that “Telles was upset by articles written by German as an investigative reporter that exposed potential wrongdoing, and Telles had publicly expressed his problems with these reports”. “And then, finally, Telles was also upset — from what we found out later — that there were additional reports pending,” Koren said.
The sordid saga that sent shockwaves through Las Vegas and the journalistic community began around 11:18 a.m. on September 2. The complaint says surveillance footage shows a suspect wearing a straw hat and reflective shirt entering German’s pedestrian gate. A few minutes later, German’s garage door opens and he is seen exiting.
“Alleman approached the pedestrian gate and was immediately attacked,” an arrest report for Telles said. “German fell to the ground and never got up.”
The report adds that “the suspect got up and calmly walked east, away from [German’s] residence.” Authorities believe Telles wore a disguise “to conceal his identity and avoid involvement in the murder.”
A medical examiner concluded that German had suffered seven stab wounds and had tusk marks on his arms and hands. The arrest report also notes that Telles’ DNA was found under reporters’ fingernails.
A neighbor, Jay Sabs, previously told The Daily Beast that his home security camera captured the man identified by police as Telles pacing outside his house at the time of the murder on the northwest corner of Bronze Circle and Wintergreen Drive. Sabs added that the footage showed a brown Yukon – who authorities eventually linked to Telles – walking past his house. A man is also seen in the footage pacing for around 10 to 15 minutes.
The arrest report says when cops spoke to Telles’ wife, she said that on the day of the incident, she couldn’t reach him on his cell phone.
Telles was questioned by police last Wednesday, voluntarily handing over clothing to investigators. Wolfson told reporters that after the conversation, investigators “rushed” a DNA test on her.
Telles was arrested that night after an hours-long standoff during which he barricaded himself in his home and police called Fumo to help convince their man to turn himself in. Telles suffered “self-inflicted injuries” in the incident and was briefly treated at a local hospital.
If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. You can also send a SMS or dial 988.