The colleagues of a murdered journalist in Las Vegas have revealed how they helped track down the suspected killer in the shocking aftermath of his death.
Jeff German, 69, who worked for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, was found dead outside his home on Saturday morning. On Wednesday evening, Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles, 45, was taken into custody.
Reporters who worked with German revealed that they stalked out the suspect’s home on Google Maps before finding that a red car – matching the police description – was parked in his driveway.
Using skills they learned on the job with German, the five-person team at the newspaper sprung into action ‘because that’s what Jeff would have wanted us to do.’
Police later carried out a search warrant on the home, and his car was towed by midday on Wednesday.
Suspect Telles, a Democrat, failed to win reelection following a series of stories written by German that exposed the turmoil in his office and claimed he had an affair with an employee.
A particularly damaging revelation came as German published a video of him exiting a vehicle with his lover.
Staffer Roberta Lee-Kennett, 45, left the backseat of the car at the same time as the official, and can be seen hoisting her skirt down. The clip was published by the late investigative reporter in May.
The DNA of the now-arrested public official was found at the site of a Las Vegas investigative reporter’s fatal stabbing.
Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles (right) had been the focus of recent articles by Las Vegas journalist Jeff German (left) who had spent three decades covering crime and corruption in the city before he was stabbed to death Saturday
The DNA of the now-arrested public official was found at the site of a Las Vegas investigative reporter’s fatal stabbing
Reporters who worked with German at the Las Vegas newspaper tracked down the suspect’s home and realized that a red car, matching the police description, was parked in the driveway
Colleagues of German, from the Review Journal, snapped pictures of Telles washing a car similar to one that cops said they were hunting as part of the probe into the reporters death the day before they raided his home
German’s colleagues said that they were just doing what he had taught them to do -follow the story and ‘aggressively’ try to find out what happened.
They searched online for Telles’ address after the reporters recalled the nasty tweets sent by him to their dead colleague. After long, they spotted the red GMC Yukon Denali parked on his driveway.
It was here that they were able to snap pictures of the suspect washing the red car.
Briana Erickson, 28, told the Daily Beast: ‘We’re just acting on instinct right now, aggressively trying to find out what happened. We’ve finally been able to breathe.’
By 6pm on Wednesday, police had returned to Telles’s home in tactical gear and were surrounding the home while he remained inside.
About 30 minutes later, he was wheeled out of the home on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance, Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
After being on the scene reporting while police arrested Telles, she said: ‘Is this person going to harm themselves, and are we not going to have justice for Jeff?’
‘Of course, he’s innocent until proven guilty. But, you know, the behavior’s just very alarming.’
Speaking about the alleged affair that German exposed during his work at the newspaper, she said: ‘Any one of us would have reported this story.
‘Any one of us could have, meaning any story that you pursue could potentially lead to circumstances that are completely unforeseen while you’re reporting it.
‘So I guess it’s just kind of puts me on alert, puts all of us on alert here that this is a possibility, which truthfully has never really crossed my mind before.’
Michael Scott Davidson, 31, who also worked with the renown journalist, added: ‘We’re here to break news, get it right, because that’s what Jeff would want us to do.’
Robert Telles is escorted into court, Thursday, September 8, 2022, in Las Vegas
Telles (pictured left with his wife) failed to get reelected after German wrote a series of stories exposing his alleged ‘inappropriate relationship’ with a member of his staff
Telles had been railing against German for months – including in an angry series of messages on social media in which he accused him of rifling through his trash and writing ‘lying smear pieces’ about him.
He also had a section on his campaign website called ‘Truth’ which referred to German by name and accused him of conspiring with Rita Reid – his challenger in the Democratic primary for the post of Clark County Public Administrator – to create false stories about him.
Reid, who won the June 16 election, was among those who complained to German of Telles’s behavior at work – and about his alleged affair with staffer Roberta Lee-Kennett.
He also accused the pair of conspiring with John Cahill – his predecessor in the role – and claimed the trio were attempting to ‘drag me through the mud’ for their own gain.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officers found local journalist Jeff German (left) dead with stab wounds around 10:30am Saturday after authorities received a 911 call. Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles (right) has now been arrested in connection to his death
By 6pm on Wednesday, police had returned to Telles’s home in tactical gear and were surrounding the home while Telles remained inside
In an angry post on June 19 – three days after he lost the primary – Telles wrote: ‘If Rita does not win, then her position will not be vacated.
‘Then, the employee who wanted her position will not get it. This person wanted to work in that position for three years to obtain a much higher monthly payment in retirement.
‘For that reason, Jeff German and John Cahill may not be done trying to drag me through the mud.
‘To ensure that Democrats rally around Rita, they would have to turn most Democratic voters against me even now when I should be irrelevant. Don’t be surprised if the articles keep coming.
‘Through all of these articles, I have had the support of my family and friends.
‘Despite what Jeff German and John Cahill have tried to do to me personally, I have been backed up by love and support that helped me to keep fighting for re-election. While I have lost, I still yet have that love and support.’
Telles shares a $660,000 four-bedroom home with his wife Mae Ishmael, 45, and their three young children in the upscale Peccole Ranch area of Las Vegas.
Initially, police released images of a man they were trying to hunt, who was wearing an orange high-vis jacket and a large hat.
Following the arrest, Executive Editor Glenn Cook said: ‘The arrest of Robert 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.’