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Former Dem Nevada official pleads not guilty in journalist's stabbing death; state won't seek death penalty

Robert Telles, a former Clark County administrator, pleaded not guilty to murdering a Las Vegas journalist who reported on his dysfunctional office.

Nevada prosecutors said Wednesday they will not seek the death penalty in the capital murder case against Robert Telles, a former Clark County official accused of stabbing an investigative journalist to death in Las Vegas last month. 

Telles, 45, pleaded not guilty to murder with a weapon of a victim 60 years or older and could be sentenced to life in prison without parole if convicted. 

Prosecutors allege that Telles targeted Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German, 69, after the journalist published reports critical of Telles' conduct as head of the Clark County Public Administrator’s office. 

German reported in May of this year that the office had a "hostile work environment" fueled by Telles' "inappropriate relationship" with a staffer. Telles, a Democrat, lost his bid for reelection the next month. 

Telles allegedly stabbed German seven times shortly before noon on Sept. 2 at the journalist's home. 


Prosecutors say that Telles' DNA was found underneath German's fingernails and that surveillance video showed Telles walking near German's home while wearing a reflective vest and large straw hat shortly before the attack. A similar hat was later found at Telles' home during a search, according to police. 

An attorney for Telles did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. 

After German's death, his family said that he "devoted his life to his work exposing wrongdoing in Las Vegas and beyond."

"We’re shocked, saddened and angry about his death," the family's 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. We look forward to seeing justice done in this case."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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