Judge temporarily blocks search of slain reporter’s devices

Oct 5, 2022, 10:15 PM | Updated: Oct 6, 2022, 10:35 am

FILE - Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles, right, talks to Las Vegas Review-Journal re...

FILE - Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles, right, talks to Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German in his Las Vegas office, on May 11, 2022. A Nevada judge on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, has granted a temporary restraining order that bars authorities from immediately searching the personal devices of slain investigative reporter German. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, File)

(K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, File)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada judge has granted a temporary restraining order that bars authorities from immediately searching the personal devices of slain investigative reporter Jeff German.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal filed a request for the emergency order earlier this week, after officials investigating German’s killing asserted that they could search the devices as early as Tuesday evening.

District Judge Nadia Krall signed the temporary restraining order on Wednesday, the Review-Journal reported. It prevents officials from conducting a search for the next 15 days. A hearing on the matter has been set for Oct. 12.

Robert Telles, a Clark County public administrator, has been jailed without bail on a murder charge since Sept. 7, five days after German, a 69-year-old Review-Journal reporter, was stabbed outside his home.

According to authorities, Telles’ DNA was allegedly found on German’s body during an autopsy and evidence was found in his home connecting him to the killing.

Prosecutors have said German’s reporting on strife in the public administrator’s office likely contributed to Telles’ loss in the Democratic primary election in June.

Police seized personal electronic devices that Review-Journal editors believe German used for work, including a cellphone, hard drive and multiple computers. Prosecutors and the public defender’s office now want to search those devices in connection with Telles’ criminal case.

Review-Journal Executive Editor Glenn Cook said the restraining order was requested to protect the identities of German’s confidential sources and the information they provided him.

“We’re grateful that Judge Krall saw the urgency of the situation and the clear threat of irreparable harm to the Review-Journal and Jeff German’s sources,” Cook said Wednesday.

The newspaper also filed a separate motion in District Court on Tuesday demanding that a third party help review German’s devices, and that his information be returned to the Review-Journal following the review process.

District Attorney Steve Wolfson, Metropolitan Police Department attorney Matthew Christian and Edward Kane, Telles’ public defender, did not reply to requests for comment. It is not known whether authorities began searching German’s devices before the temporary restraining order was granted.

Attorneys for the police department previously have argued that Telles’ constitutional rights “take precedence over any reporter’s rights,” the Review-Journal reported.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 43 other media organizations including The Associated Press asked last week to file a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the newspaper’s motion.

Attorneys representing the newspaper have argued that Metro’s seizure of German’s devices violated Nevada’s shield law, designed to protect journalists, and the federal Privacy Protection Act, which is designed to prevent unlawful searches of journalists.

On Wednesday, District Court Judge David Jones ruled that Telles, 45, can be removed from his job as a county administrator.

The county filed to remove Telles from office last month, saying he was unable to fulfill his job responsibilities and was neglectful in his duties.

Telles heads the county office that handles the assets of people who die without a will or family contacts.

Authorities said the county will now move forward in appointing someone to fulfill the end of Telles’ term, which expires Jan. 1 when the new public administrator elected in the Nov. 8 general election takes office.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Water spills over the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River, which runs along the Washington and Ore...

Associated Press

Biden deal with tribes promises $200M for Columbia River salmon reintroduction

The Biden administration has pledged over $200 million toward reintroducing salmon in the Upper Columbia River Basin in an agreement with tribes that includes a stay on litigation for 20 years.

13 hours ago

FILE - Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., arrives for a vote on Capitol Hill, Sept. 6, 2023 in Washington. ...

Associated Press

Sen. Menendez, wife indicted on bribe charges as probe finds $100,000 in gold bars, prosecutors say

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and his wife have been indicted on charges of bribery.

17 hours ago

A man holds an iPhone next to an Amazon Echo, center, and a Google Home, right, in New York on June...

Associated Press

Amazon unveils a ‘smarter and more conversational’ Alexa amid AI race among tech companies

Amazon has unveiled a slew of gadgets and an update to its popular voice assistant Alexa, infusing it with more generative AI features to better compete with other tech companies who’ve rolled out flashy chatbots.

19 hours ago


David Bauder, The Associated Press

Rupert Murdoch, whose creation of Fox News made him a force in American politics, is stepping down

Murdoch inherited a newspaper in Adelaide, Australia, from his father in 1952 and eventually built a news and entertainment enterprise.

1 day ago

FILE - United Auto Workers members walk a picket line during a strike at the Ford Motor Company Mic...

Associated Press

United Auto Workers threaten to expand targeted strike if there is no substantive progress by Friday

The United Auto Workers union is stepping up pressure on Detroit’s Big Three by threatening to expand its strike unless it sees major progress in contract negotiations by Friday.

3 days ago

FILE - The Amazon Prime logo appears on the side of a delivery van as it departs an Amazon Warehous...

Associated Press

Amazon plans to hire 250,000 workers for holiday season

Amazon said on Tuesday that it will hire 250,000 full- and part-time workers for the holiday season, a 67% jump compared to last year.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Judge temporarily blocks search of slain reporter’s devices