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Politician accused of Las Vegas journalist’s murder was upset over reporting; his DNA was found at the crime scene, police say

The person accused of killing a Las Vegas investigative journalist was upset over tales the reporter wrote about him, and his DNA was discovered on the crime scene, authorities mentioned Thursday.

Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles was being held with out bail, booked on a cost of open homicide, after he was arrested Wednesday night in reference to the stabbing loss of life of distinguished Las Vegas Evaluate-Journal reporter Jeff German.

German, 69, had written tales about alleged bullying and favoritism in Telles’ workplace. He was discovered stabbed to loss of life exterior his Bronze Circle residence Saturday; police mentioned he was killed Friday.

A police officer unholsters his gun Wednesday as he takes a place on the home of Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles in Las Vegas.John Locher / AP

“This can be a horrible and jarring murder, one which has deeply impacted Las Vegas,” Joe Lombardo, the sheriff of Clark County and Las Vegas, instructed reporters Thursday. “Each homicide is tragic, however the killing of a journalist is especially troublesome.”

Detectives instantly zeroed in on Telles, 45, as a result of he publicly expressed his anger at German and his reporting, police mentioned.

“Telles was upset about articles that had been being written by German as an investigative journalist that uncovered potential wrongdoing, and Telles had publicly expressed his points with that reporting,” Las Vegas Police Capt. Dori Koren mentioned Thursday.

“After which in the end Telles was additionally upset — from what we came upon later — that there was further reporting that was pending.”

German’s household thanked police and his fellow journalists for working so exhausting in current days to seek out his killer and publicize the story.

“Jeff was a loving and constant brother, uncle and pal who devoted his life to his work exposing wrongdoing in Las Vegas and past. We’re shocked, saddened and indignant about his loss of life,” the household mentioned in an announcement. “Jeff was dedicated to looking for justice for others and would respect the exhausting work by native police and journalists in pursuing his killer. We sit up for seeing justice performed on this case.”

The household added: “We additionally need to thank everybody for the outpouring of affection, assist and recognition for Jeff and his life’s work.”

Along with Telles’ public anger with German, Koren mentioned one other key piece of proof was video exhibiting a pink or maroon GMC Denali driving suspiciously via the neighborhood earlier than German was killed at about 11:18 a.m. Friday.

Investigators ultimately discovered {that a} GMC Denali matching the one in German’s neighborhood was parked at Telles’ residence and registered to his spouse, police mentioned.

The SUV had been pushed away from Telles’ residence someday from 9 a.m. to midday on the day of German’s homicide, matching the police timeline of the slaying, officers mentioned.

“We developed a really important lead, which was a car that we recognized as a maroon-colored GMC Denali that was suspiciously driving round within the neighborhood on the morning of the homicide,” Koren mentioned. “That car had stopped a number of occasions all through the neighborhood and was behaving suspiciously.

Police this week concentrated their search on a potential suspect sporting a large straw hat and a vivid orange reflective long-sleeve shirt.

Whereas the conspicuous getup caught the eye of police, the apparel was in all probability Telles’ “try to both disguise his identification or conceal his identification” earlier than he attacked German, Koren mentioned.

The suspect “went to the aspect of the home,” Koren mentioned. “Shortly after, German got here exterior of the storage door after which went to the aspect of the home, and in the end an altercation occurred between the suspect and sufferer.”

Investigators had been nonetheless working Thursday to develop clear residence surveillance video of the homicide itself, the sheriff mentioned.

“We’ve got some distorted video related to the assault,” Lombardo mentioned. “We’re within the technique of clarifying that video as we communicate.”

Investigators who served a search warrant at Telles’ residence Wednesday discovered partly destroyed sneakers and a hat, resembling the garments of a person seen in photographs police had launched early within the investigation, Koren mentioned.

A DNA pattern from Telles’ garments ultimately linked him to the crime scene and prompted his arrest, police mentioned.

“As you may see, there’s obvious blood on the sneakers,” Koren mentioned, exhibiting photos of the sneakers and the hat. “And the sneakers had been minimize, possible in a fashion to attempt to destroy proof.”

Police blocked off a part of Spanish Steps Lane on Wednesday and hauled away what gave the impression to be a pink SUV from a house. Telles has a listed deal with within the 9600 block of Spanish Steps Lane.

Telles was taken out of his residence on a stretcher.

“He had self-inflicted wounds, and we had been making an attempt to offer medical consideration,” mentioned Koren, who declined to element the accidents, which he known as non-life-threatening.

Telles’ workplace oversees the estates of Clark County residents who die with out authorized subsequent of kin.

It was not instantly clear early Thursday afternoon whether or not Telles had employed or been appointed a protection lawyer who might communicate on his behalf.

Telles made his first court docket look after the police information convention and Las Vegas magistrate Elana Lee Graham ordered him held with out bail.

If Telles is ever granted bail sooner or later, he will not be welcomed again to his workplace, officers mentioned.

“The protection of our county staff and the general public is our prime precedence, and the County has suspended Mr. Telles’ entry to county places of work or property,” Clark County spokesman Erik Pappa mentioned in an announcement Thursday.

“County staff of the administrator’s workplace are at the moment working from residence, and the workplace will stay closed till a dedication is made about when it might probably reopen.”

Telles couldn’t be reached for remark in the course of the police search Wednesday afternoon.

Reporters later noticed him coming into his Spanish Steps Lane residence via the storage — sporting what gave the impression to be an all-white one-piece protecting outfit — as he declined to reply questions in regards to the homicide.

German’s reporting about Telles’ workplace may need performed a job in Telles’ dropping his job, as he was narrowly edged out within the Democratic major for the place over the summer time.

He gained 35,279 votes, or 32.4%, ending simply behind certainly one of his prime deputies, Rita Reid, who had 37,401 votes, or 34.3%.

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