Bellagio Fight Led to Domestic Battery Arrest for Jeff German Murder Suspect

Posted on: September 15, 2022, 09:50h. 

Last updated on: September 15, 2022, 01:12h.

Robert Telles, the Clark County Administrator accused of murdering Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German, was charged with domestic battery and resisting arrest in 2020. That was after Telles got drunk and started a fight with his wife at the Bellagio, according to an arrest report seen by the LVRJ.

Robert Telles
Robert Telles arriving in court for an initial appearance last Thursday. On Monday, he was formally charged with murder. The Clark County official was previously arrested for domestic assault in 2020. (Image: Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Police were called to Telles’ home at around 11 pm on Feb.29, 2020, after receiving a distressed call from his wife, Mae Ismael, according to the report.

Ismael told officers she and her husband left the Bellagio when the latter became drunk and abusive. As Ismael was driving home, Telles grabbed her neck, hit her arm, and tried to break things in the car.

His behavior became even more erratic when they arrived home. Ismael told police she and her children cowered in another room as Telles repeatedly yelled, “Kill me!”

“He just won’t leave us alone,” Ismael said in the recording. “He had too much to drink tonight, and it’s just … me and my kids are scared.”

Battery Charges Dismissed 

After the call, Telles grabbed his wife in a “forceful” bear hug and refused to let go until the children pried her away, according to the report.

When responders arrived, the elected official continued to yell at his wife and police officers and refused to allow himself to be handcuffed. He had to be arrested by force, the report states.

Ultimately, Telles’ lawyer, Ross Goodman, negotiated to get the domestic battery charge dismissed. Telles pleaded guilty to the resisting arrest charge and received a suspended 90-day sentence and a $418 fine.

He was also required to attend a “Corrective Thinking” class focusing on stress management and relationships.

Jeff German Murder

Prosecutors accuse Telles of “lying in wait” outside German’s Summerlin home on Sept. 2 before stabbing him to death. The veteran reporter had written stories alleging Telles had presided over an environment of “emotional stress, bullying, and favoritism” at the Public Administrator’s Office. German also exposed an affair Telles was having with a coworker.

These articles may have contributed to him losing his reelection bid in the June primary. Just days before German’s death, Telles learned the reporter was working on another story about him.

Police searched Telles’ home and found bloody shoes and a cut-up straw hat. The hat resembled one worn by a suspect caught seen in security video approaching German’s house shortly before the murder. They also found Telles’ DNA at the scene of the crime.

Prosecutors are emphasizing that Telles allegedly “lay in wait” for German. That is one of the standards for first-degree murder since it indicates premeditation. First-degree murder comes with harsher sentences, including the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Despite his current predicament, Telles is still the Clark County Administrator until his term ends in January, and he continues to draw the $120,000 salary.