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Former politician Robert Telles pleads not guilty to killing Las Vegas reporter Jeff German

Prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty for the former Las Vegas area politician He pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murdering a veteran investigative journalist who wrote an article critical of him and his management practices.

“Not guilty, Your Highness.” Robert TellesThe democrat who was stripped of his elected position responded during his arraignment on the Sept. 2 stabbing indictment Las Vegas Review-Journal Reporter Jeff German outside his house.

Telles, 45, showed up with a new attorney, Ryan Helmick, whom Telles hired to replace his deputy public defender. first named his case At the taxpayer’s expense after Telles declared he could not afford a lawyer.

The Review-Journal reported last week that Telles and his wife were making $20,500 a month before his arrest and that he owns five rental homes in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The couple also own a taxable home in Las Vegas where he is valued at over $320,000, according to local real estate records.

Jeff Germann hosts Mobbed Up with Planet Hollywood (formerly Aladdin) on the Las Vegas Strip on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.

KM Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A trial date was not set immediately. Telles’ next court date is his Nov. 2, before Judge Mark Denton of Clark County District Court.

Helmick declined to comment outside the court.

Telles was the administrator of Clark County and was in charge of the office that handled the property of those who died without a will or contact with their families. Six former colleagues were present at the court hearing, including Telles’ former top assistant, Rita Paige Reid.

Reid won the Democratic primary in June and is running against two other candidates on the next ballot to replace Telles. She said seeing Telles in court was “a little disturbing and very emotional”, but said she was there to pay tribute to German and the report he wrote about the situation in the office. she told reporters.

“The final price Jeff Germann paid was to support us all,” said Reid.

A grand jury last week indicted Telles for murder with a weapon of a victim over the age of 60. At trial, he could face the possibility of life in prison without parole.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said he and a panel of prosecutors had concluded that there was no aggravating factor to qualify Telles’ trial to be the death penalty.

Journalist Killed - Las Vegas
Outgoing Clark County Executive Robert Telles appears in court during the arraignment proceedings at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.

Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP

“The death penalty can only be considered if aggravating circumstances exist,” Wolfson said.

Nevada law lists 15 perpetrators, most of whom commit murder while committing another felony such as kidnapping, rape, escaping custody, torture, or multiple murders. Murder of a police officer, prison guard, or firefighter while on duty is also covered.

Prosecutor says evidence DNA found under a German’s fingernails, believed to be Telles’, a video showing a man believed to be Telles walking near a German’s house, and a vehicle believed to be Telles’ in the area. Opposition to Telles is overwhelming.

But police attorneys say the criminal investigation will not be complete until authorities access and examine German cell phone and electronic device records to see if there is more evidence.

A former attorney for Telles said he wanted to know if those devices had information that would exonerate him or identify other people with motives for killing the Germans.

That controversy sparked a lawsuit currently pending in the State Supreme Court over concerns about revealing classified German sources and memos.

Review-Journal, with the support of dozens of media organizations, opposes the release of information. It cites Nevada’s so-called “News Shield Act.” This is one of the toughest in the country, along with the Federal Privacy Act and First Amendment safeguards.

The 69-year-old German is widely respected for his tenacity, and his colleagues said he was working to follow up. Report on Teles and the Administrative Office when he was killed.

The state Supreme Court also suspended Telles’ legal license pending the outcome of the Nevada Bar Association’s investigation into allegations that Telles misappropriated client funds at a private law firm.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/robert-telles-pleads-not-guilty-in-las-vegas-reporter-jeff-german-killing/ Former politician Robert Telles pleads not guilty to killing Las Vegas reporter Jeff German

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