LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A judge has denied former politician and accused killer Robert Telles’ request to remove Clark County District Court Judge Michelle Leavitt from the case.
The former Clark County public administrator is accused of killing investigative reporter Jeff German in September after the journalist exposed issues under the politician’s leadership. Telles argued that Leavitt should be removed from the case.
“Accusing me of playing games, accusing me of being a fool, it’s not the conduct that is supposed to be consistent with a judge,” said Telles.
Recently, Leavitt had raised several concerns about Telles’ decision and his lack of experience and knowledge of criminal law.
“It is always unwise to represent yourself in any matter let alone a first-degree murder case,” Leavitt said during a March 27 hearing. Telles, at the time, admitted in court that he had only handled a few civil jury cases.
“I am not playing games with you. This is very, very serious,” said Leavitt in another hearing in February. “You are charged with first-degree murder. I mean, you’re facing life without the possibility of parole. I’d think that you would take it a little more serious.”
“You really don’t know about the charge against you and what you’re coming up against,” she told Telles.
Court documents indicate that Telles was unhappy with the coverage of Leavitt’s line of questioning in the media.
“Judge Leavitt’s behavior led the media to produce stories wherein defendant’s intentions and capacity were called into question. Comments made in one news [story’s] comments section demonstrated members of the public took these points to heart,” Telles said in court documents.
Leavitt responded, “the court cannot control the media coverage of this matter,” in her affidavit filed on March 10.
Chief Judge Jerry Wiese, however, agreed with Leavitt, saying that the judge has been doing criminal cases for a long time.
“She knows what she’s doing,” said Wiese.
Telles invited journalists to reach out to him after Thursday’s hearing. His trial is set to begin on Nov. 6.