Less than a day after asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspect in the stabbing death of Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative reporter Jeff German, police served a search warrant Wednesday at the home of Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles.
The search marked a stunning development in the police investigation because it indicated for the first time that the killing might be related to German’s work exposing public wrongdoing. German’s investigation of Telles this year contributed to the Democrat’s primary election loss, and German was working on a potential follow-up story about Telles the week he was killed.
Tuesday afternoon, police released photos of a vehicle tied to the homicide suspect: a red or maroon GMC Yukon Denali. Later that evening, Review-Journal reporters observed Telles in the driveway of his home, standing next to a vehicle matching that description.
Police arrived at Telles’ home in the western valley around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday and blocked off nearby streets. Shortly before 9 a.m., police released a statement saying they were “currently serving search warrants” in connection with the homicide investigation.
“No further information will be provided at this time,” police said in the statement.
Detectives interviewed Telles during the search of his home, according to authorities.
The GMC vehicle and a second vehicle were towed from Telles’ property at about 12:50 p.m on Wednesday. The residence is less than 6 miles from the home where German was found dead on Saturday.
Attempts to reach Telles for comment on Wednesday were not successful. When he arrived home at about 2:20 p.m., he was wearing what appeared to be a white hazmat suit. He did not respond to reporters’ questions as he entered his garage and closed the door.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson declined to comment on the homicide investigation.
German spent months reporting on the turmoil surrounding Telles’ oversight of the public administrator’s office.
The 45-year-old Democrat lost his re-election bid in June’s primary after German’s findings were published. German also had recently filed public records requests for emails and text messages between Telles and three other county officials: Assistant Public Administrator Rita Reid, estate coordinator Roberta Lee-Kennett and consultant Michael Murphy. Lee-Kennett was identified in previous stories as a subordinate staffer allegedly involved in an “inappropriate relationship” with Telles.
German, 69, was found dead on Saturday morning outside his northwest Las Vegas home, the Metropolitan Police Department reported. Police said they believe he was fatally stabbed during an altercation the day before.
This case seems open and shut.
For all the dangerous rhetoric from Republicans about hanging reporters from trees as "enemies of the people" it was almost certainly an elected Democrat that actually murdered a reporter over having his criminal actions exposed.
A man is dead as a result. Cue Republicans wailing about "Biden's stochastic terrorist speech" last week.
It's a sober reminder that our side is far from perfect, but we can't let the perfect become the enemy of the good, either.