Lawsuit over slain Las Vegas reporter Jeff German’s devices continues in court

Posted at 4:08 PM, November 10, 2022 and last updated 6:41 AM, January 26, 2023

By KTNV Staff

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The fight over access to the late journalist Jeff German’s devices resumed in Las Vegas Justice Court on Thursday morning.

During the investigation of German’s murder, Las Vegas police seized a cellphone, laptops and a hard drive that belonged to the late reporter.

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)

Attorneys representing the Review-Journal requested a preliminary injunction to prevent police from searching the devices, arguing that they contained confidential information and unpublished material that should be protected from disclosure under both federal and state law.

On Oct. 11, a Las Vegas judge issued a preliminary injunction that prevented police from viewing the devices they seized after Jeff German’s murder.

On Thursday, a judge issued a continuance for the case after discussing a motion that had been filed by the attorney representing the Las Vegas Review-Journal, requesting the unsealed and unredacted warrant for the seizure of Jeff German’s devices. The attorneys argued that the version they received was “over-redacted” and that there were several other unidentified warrants pertaining to the case that need to be opened.

Outgoing Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles, center, leaves the courtroom with David Lopez-Negrete, a public defender, left, after his arraignment at the Regional Justice Center, on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, in Las Vegas. Telles is charged with murder in the death of Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative journalist Jeff German. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

An attorney representing the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department told the judge that, since the motion was received on Oct. 31, there was no time to file an opposition. The attorney also told the judge that the department would need at least a week to evaluate the request and locate the requested documents.

The judge agreed to continue the case until Tuesday, Nov. 15.

“The press relies upon sources to come forward and be able to trust reporters to keep information and their identities confidential in order to share information about all kinds of wrongdoing,” Ashley Kissinger, the attorney representing the Review-Journal and media entities including The Associated Press, told KTNV after the Oct. 11 hearing.

The trial date for Robert Telles, the former Clark County official accused of murdering German, is set for April 2023.

This story was originally published Nov. 10, 2022 by KTNV in Las Vegas, an E.W. Scripps Company.