Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles is being held on an open murder charge Thursday in connection to the stabbing death of Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German.
The shocking news of Telles’ arrest came days after German, 69, was found stabbed to death outside his home in Las Vegas on the morning of Sept. 3.
“This is a terrible and jarring homicide that has deeply impacted Las Vegas. Every murder is tragic, but the killing of a journalist is particularly troublesome,” Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Thursday in a news conference.
Police executed search warrants on Telles’ home Wednesday morning — the day after they released a surveillance video of a suspect wearing a wide brimmed straw hat and a reflective orange jacket, carrying a duffle bag.
The police also identified the suspect’s vehicle, a maroon-colored GMC Denali, stopping multiple times around the neighborhood. Police said the Denali was registered to Telles’ esposa.
Na coletiva de imprensa, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Captain Dori Koren said investigators recovered a pair of shoes that matched the suspect’s description.
“There is apparent blood on the shoes and the shoes were cut in a manner to try and destroy evidence,” Koren said.
Investigators also recovered a straw hat that was “also cut in a manner that was likely to destroy the evidence,” Koren said.
The straw hat matched the hat seen in the surveillance video, ele disse.
Koren also said that Telles’ DNA was also discovered at the crime scene.
Investigators looked at multiple leads including a possible burglary series but soon zeroed in on Telles.
“Telles was upset about articles being written by German as an investigative journalist that exposed potential wrongdoing,” Koren said. “Telles had publicly expressed his issues with that reporting, and then ultimately Telles was also upset that there was additional reporting that was pending.”
Em maio, German began writing stories about the upheaval in Telles’ office.
In a May 16 artigo, German wrote that his office was “mired in turmoil and internal dissension over the past two years, with allegations of emotional stress, bullying and favoritism leading to secret videotaping of the boss and a co-worker outside the office.”
German quoted current and past employees who alleged a hostile work environment and an “inappropriate relationship” Telles allegedly had with a staffer.
Em resposta, Telles denied an inappropriate relationship with the staffer and pointed his finger at “a handful of old-timers” he said were bad-mouthing him.
“They are unhappy with the way the office has been taken out of their control,” Telles said. “All my new employees are super-happy and everyone’s productive and doing well. We’ve almost doubled the productivity in the office.”
Mais tarde naquele mês, German wrote that a consultant had been hired to quell the office friction.
Em junho, Telles, um democrata, lost his re-election bid and criticized the Review-Journal for their coverage.
Além disso, Telles often aired his grievances with German on social media.
Em junho, ele escreveu, “*Wife hears rustling in the trash* Her: ‘Honey, is there a wild animal in the trash?’ Mim: 'Não, dear. Looks like it’s @JGermanRJ going through our trash for his 4th story on me.’ Oh, Jeff… [laughing Emoji] @LVRJ#LasVegas.”
Depois brincadeira that he left pizza and sushi in the trash, Telles chamado German a “typical bully,” adicionando, “Can’t take a pound of critism [sic] after slinging 100 pounds of BS. Up to article #4 agora. You’d think he’d have better things to do.”
‘A Great Man and a Brave Reporter’
Em um comunicado, the newspaper’s executive editor Glenn Cook said the arrest of Telles “is at once an enormous relief and an outrage for the Review-Journal newsroom.”
“We are relieved Telles is in custody and outraged that a colleague appears to have been killed for reporting on an elected official. Journalists can’t do the important work our communities require if they are afraid a presentation of facts could lead to violent retribution,” Cook added.
“We thank Las Vegas police for their urgency and hard work and for immediately recognizing the terrible significance of Jeff’s killing. Agora, esperançosamente, a Review-Journal, the German family and Jeff’s many friends can begin the process of mourning and honoring a great man and a brave reporter. Godspeed, Jeff.”
The Society of Professional Journalists released a statement saying that German’s death was “a reminder that everyday journalists around the world put their lives on the line to uncover the truth. ”
“Enquanto o Review-Journal relatado, many described Jeff as a fearless reporter, the embodiment of the First Amendment, who stood up for society’s underdogs and had a strong sense of right and wrong. We should honor Jeff by continuing to be like him, a person of courage, compassion and commitment to the truth,” ela adicionou.
“We at SPJ send our condolences to Jeff’s colleagues at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, family and friends. May he rest in peace.”
Telles is being held in the Clark County Detention Center. Não ficou imediatamente claro se ele contratou um advogado.