Las Vegas Journalist Murder: Robert Telles asks for ‘substitution of attorney’

Posted at 1:11 PM, October 25, 2022 and last updated 6:41 AM, January 26, 2023

By Darcy Spears

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In the case of murdered Review-Journal reporter Jeff German, accused killer and former county Public Administrator Robert Telles has bounced from a private attorney to the Public Defender’s office. Now, he’s making a change again.

Robert Telles attends an arraignment hearing at the Regional Justice Center in downtown Las Vegas, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022. Telles is charged with murder in the stabbing death of Las Vegas investigative reporter Jeff German. (Wade Vandervort/Las Vegas Sun via AP)

In a document filed Monday, Telles is asking for Substitution of Attorney. It shows Telles has obtained K. Ryan Helmick as his private attorney instead of using a Public Defender. The document is signed by Telles himself.

When Telles was first charged with murder, he had a private lawyer. Shortly thereafter, he petitioned the court to appoint the public defender’s office to represent him on the murder charge, claiming he couldn’t afford private counsel.

In the form Telles had to fill out, he explained why he couldn’t afford to pay for his own attorney.

At the time he submitted that form, Telles was still in office. He and his wife reported a combined income of more than $20,000 a month.

Jeff German, investigative reporter, poses for a portrait at the Las Vegas Review-Journal photos studio, in Las Vegas, on Jan. 19, 2017. German was stabbed to death outside his home and police are looking for a suspect, authorities said. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officers found journalist German dead with stab wounds around 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, after authorities received a 911 call, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

He also listed $10,000 in a bank account, his home in Peccole Ranch and multiple rental properties in another state. But he claimed he wasn’t making money on those rental properties.

Multiple media reports questioned how Telles would qualify for a public defender at taxpayers’ expense. Then, on Monday, the flip flop in the form of this document showing he has, in fact, hired his own lawyer.

Telles’ new attorney, Ryan Helmick, confirmed he is now representing Telles and that Telles is no longer represented by the Public Defender’s office. Helmick declined to comment further or provide any statement at this time.

Telles is back in court Wednesday for initial arraignment.

This story was originally published Oct. 24, 2022 by KTNV in Las Vegas, an E.W. Scripps Company.