LAS VEGAS — Prosecutors stated they gained’t search the loss of life penalty towards a former Las Vegas-area politician who pleaded not responsible Wednesday to killing a veteran investigative journalist who wrote articles crucial of him and his managerial conduct.
“Not responsible, your honor,” Robert Telles, a Democrat who has been stripped of his elected place, responded throughout his arraignment on an indictment within the Sept. 2 stabbing loss of life of Las Vegas Evaluate-Journal reporter Jeff German exterior his residence.
Telles, 45, appeared together with his new lawyer, Ryan Helmick, who Telles employed to exchange deputy public defenders initially named to his case at taxpayer expense following a declaration by Telles that he was unable to afford a lawyer.
The Evaluate-Journal final week reported that Telles and his spouse had been making $20,500 per thirty days earlier than his arrest and that he owns 5 rental homes in Scorching Springs, Arkansas. Native property data present the couple additionally owns a Las Vegas residence with a taxable worth of greater than $320,000.
A trial date was not instantly set. Telles’ subsequent court docket date is Nov. 2 earlier than Clark County District Court docket Decide Mark Denton.
Helmick declined exterior court docket to remark.
Telles was Clark County administrator, accountable for the workplace that handles property of people that die with out wills or household contacts. Six former co-workers — together with Rita Web page Reid, Telles’ former prime assistant — attended the court docket listening to.
Reid gained the Democratic get together major in June and is vying towards two different candidates on the upcoming poll to exchange Telles. She known as seeing Telles in court docket “a bit disturbing and really emotional,” however informed reporters she attended to honor German and the experiences he wrote about situations within the workplace.
“The last word worth that Jeff German paid was in assist of all of us,” Reid stated.
A grand jury final week indicted Telles on a cost of homicide with a weapon of a sufferer 60 years or older. At trial, he may face the potential of life in jail with out parole.
Clark County District Lawyer Steve Wolfson stated he and a panel of prosecutors concluded that there have been no qualifying aggravating elements to make Telles’ trial a capital case.
“We are able to solely think about the loss of life penalty if an aggravating circumstance exists,” Wolfson stated.
Nevada legislation lists 15 aggravators, principally involving homicide whereas committing one other felony akin to kidnapping, rape, escape from custody, torture or a number of killings. Homicide of a police officer, jail guard or firefighter within the line of obligation additionally qualifies.
Prosecutors say proof towards Telles is overwhelming, together with DNA believed to be from Telles discovered beneath German’s fingernails, video displaying a person believed to be Telles strolling close to German’s residence, and a car believed to be Telles’ within the space.
Attorneys for police say the prison investigation gained’t be full, nonetheless, till authorities entry and overview data on German’s cellphone and digital units to see if there may be extra proof.
Telles’ earlier attorneys stated they need to know if these units have info which may exonerate him or determine different individuals with a motive to kill German.
That dispute has spawned a case now pending earlier than the state Supreme Court docket over considerations about revealing German’s confidential sources and notes.
The Evaluate-Journal, with backing from dozens of media organizations, is combating the discharge of the knowledge. It cites Nevada’s so-called “information protect legislation,” which is among the many strictest within the nation, together with the federal Privateness Safety Act and First Modification safeguards.
German, 69, was extensively revered for his tenacity, and his colleagues stated he was engaged on follow-up experiences about Telles and the general public administrator’s workplace when he was killed.
The state Supreme Court docket has additionally suspended Telles’ legislation license pending outcomes of a State Bar of Nevada investigation of allegations that he misappropriated funds of shoppers in his non-public legislation workplace.