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John L. Smith: Prosecutors call evidence in Telles murder case 'overwhelming'

AP Photo/John Locher, File

FILE - Clark County Public Administrator Robert "Rob" Telles is escorted into court on Sept. 8, 2022, in Las Vegas.

The former Clark County Public Administrator accused of stabbing to death investigative reporter Jeff German is due in court this week. 

Robert Telles, who lost his primary election in June, was removed from his position after he was arrested as a suspect in the murder of German. 

He will be arraigned in District Court on Oct. 26 on the charge of murder of a person over 60 with the use of a deadly weapon.  

Prosecutors are calling the evidence in the case “ overwhelming.” And last week, a justice of the peace denied bail for Telles. 

State of Nevada contributor and commentator John L. Smith has been following the story.  

"[His lawyers] are going to question everything. Although the evidence that was recovered by the homicide team for Metro was substantial -- they have video of the suspect, essentially getting into the vehicle identical to the one owned by a member of the Telles family," Smith said. "This is also a case that has to follow procedure. And in that, ... there will be a heavy emphasis by the defense on questioning every phase of this investigation."

Smith said that includes looking for an alternate suspect. German, a longtime investigative reporter, "had no shortage of people who disagreed with his reporting," Smith said. 

Meanwhile, there's an ongoing battle over German's laptop and cell phone that could contain evidence for prosecutors or defense attorneys. But the Las Vegas Review-Journal's attorney argued the reporter's devices are privileged, citing press shield laws and privacy. The case is on appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.

"It's rare that you find the prosecution and the defense sitting on the same side of an issue in a court case that involves murder," Smith said.

On hand-counted ballots

It's fascinating that we've been covering this issue at the station for some time, and I have been in my column at The Nevada Independent, as has Sean Golonka, excellent news reporter. It's fascinating to see, really, the world comes to Pahrump. The Washington Post reporter, columnist Dana Milbank had an interesting piece on this issue. In just these past few days, other major news outlets have focused on Nye County as kind of, as we've called it, this kind of petri dish of conservative politics, of the Big Lie, and how it's manifesting itself in the 2022 election.

On the Secretary of State race

The one thing that [Democrat Cisco] Aguilar can't do is be as alarmist as Jim Marchant. He's stuck to his background as an attorney and his experience, that he's talked about maintaining strong voter laws in Nevada. ... He's not out he's not trying to scare the voters with his own rhetoric. Marchant is doing that job for him, I suspect. But one thing that I thought was interesting was one recent advertisement for Aguilar included an endorsement by an unlikely endorser in a Nevada Secretary of State's race: Lin-Manuel Miranda, the famous composer and playwright. With that kind of backing, he certainly has a boost in his campaign and he's getting some major endorsements and, of course, endorsements even from the R-J.

John L. Smith, contributor, State of Nevada

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Joe Schoenmann joined Nevada Public Radio in 2014. He works with a talented team of producers at State of Nevada who explore the casino industry, sports, politics, public health and everything in between.
Kristen DeSilva (she/her) is the online editor for Nevada Public Radio. She curates content on, our weekly newsletter and social media for Nevada Public Radio and Desert Companion.