LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – A judge granted a motion to delay the trial of a man accused of killing an investigative newspaper reporter Wednesday.
Robert Telles, the disgraced public official on trial for the stabbing murder of journalist Jeff German, said he has been waiting months for the state and Metro to turn over evidence for his review before trial, which was to begin in November. On Wednesday the trial judge, Michelle Leavitt, postponed that trial date to March 18.
Telles and prosecutors will return to court Wednesday for a more extensive discussion of that evidence.
“If the court says they need to turn over certain things, yeah, they need to turn over certain things,” Leavitt told Telles, who complained that what evidence he did receive was encrypted and impossible for him to access.
“The stuff that we want, it’s in a form that we can’t even open,” Telles said. “I don’t know why this is going on.”
Prosecutors said they are working with their “discovery specialist” to resolve the matter.
“I can certainly inquire about that and report to the court Wednesday,” Pamela Weckerly, one of the prosecuting attorneys said.
Leavitt replied: “Obviously you’re entitled to have it in a format you can review.”
At issue, Telles – who is representing himself in his defense –said, is his preparation for a hearing to determine whether the police lied in one of their search warrants before charging Telles with murder. In a significant acknowledgment to Leavitt Wednesday, Telles said he retained “co-counsel” to help with that hearing.
That lawyer, Gary Modafferi.
However, Modafferi explained his role to 8 News Now on Wednesday stating that he represents Telles in an advisory capacity and is not his trial attorney. He also added that he has not made any appearance in court on his behalf.
“We’re just about ready to have [the] hearing,” Telles said. “But we need this evidence. Obviously, the truth has to come out.”
Weckerly said she has spoken twice with Modafferi about Telles’ case.
“It shouldn’t be an issue if he wants to use Mr. Modafferi to facilitate.”
Modafferi told The Associated Press by telephone that he has, since August, been advising Telles on constitutional matters including how police gather evidence. Modafferi said he does not plan to argue matters in court. Modafferi did not immediately return a phone call or an email sent by 8 News Now before publishing this report.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.