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Las Vegas police find a public official's DNA at the scene of a journalist's murder

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo speaks at a news conference on the arrest of Clark County Public Administrator Robert "Rob" Telles in Las Vegas.
John Locher
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo speaks at a news conference on the arrest of Clark County Public Administrator Robert "Rob" Telles in Las Vegas.

Police in Las Vegas have arrested a county official on an open murder charge in the death of Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative reporter Jeff German, who was found stabbed outside his home on Saturday.

Authorities on Thursday announced the single count of murder against 45-year-old outgoing Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles.

"This is a terrible and jarring homicide – one that has deeply impacted Las Vegas," Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said during a press conference.

"Every murder is tragic, but the killing of a journalist is particularly troublesome," he added.

The evidence against Telles mounted in the days following the death of German, 69.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Captain Dori Koren said investigators found Telles' DNA at the crime scene and also recovered blood-stained shoes and a straw hat that matched those worn by the suspect in surveillance video.

Authorities also towed a red GMC Denali from Telles' home, the same kind of vehicle the suspect drove, police said.

Police arrested Telles on Wednesday, wheeling him from his home on a medical stretcher. Koren said Telles had self-inflicted wounds that were not life-threatening.

Though authorities did not ascribe a motive to the killing, German had recently written a series of articles about mismanagement and disarray in the public administrator's office helmed by Telles. Upset by the articles, Telles had lashed out at German on social media.

"Telles was also upset, from what we found out later, that there was additional reporting that was pending," Koren said.

Telles, a Democrat, lost his reelection bid in a June primary.

German's family, in a statement shared by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, said they were shocked, saddened and angry over his killing.

"Jeff was a loving and loyal brother, uncle and friend who devoted his life to his work exposing wrongdoing in Las Vegas and beyond," the statement said.

"Jeff was committed to seeking justice for others and would appreciate the hard work by local police and journalists in pursuing his killer."

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Joe Hernandez
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