Las Vegas Dem official 'throttled wife in drunken Bellagio casino brawl' court documents reveal
A Las Vegas Democratic official who is accused of killing a journalist who exposed his affair had previously been arrested for abusing his wife and resisting arrest.
Robert Telles, 45, was arrested on March 1, 2020, after Metropolitan police received a frantic call from his wife, Mae Ismael, shortly after 11pm the night before.
She told officers she and her husband were at the Bellagio casino that night, where he got drunk and started arguing with her.
The two then decided to head home, according to police reports obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, but as Ismael started driving home, the Clark County public administrator grabbed her neck and hit her arm. He also allegedly tried to break things in the car.
The fight reportedly continued after they returned to their home in Peccole Ranch, where Ismael said she and their children hid in a room as Telles yelled 'Kill me.'
Then after she called 911, the police report states, that Telles grabbed Ismael in a tight 'bear hug' and did not let her go until their children pried her away.
'The force of the grab, and Robert's demeanor frightened the children,' the police report says. It also notes that Ismael had no visible injuries from the brawl.
But when police arrived at the home that night, they reported that Telles began arguing with his wife again — and even yelled at officers when they tried to keep the two separated.
By the time officers tried to put him in handcuffs, the police report says, Telles flexed his arm in front of his body and collapsed into a chair, refusing to get up.
In the end, though, the domestic battery charge was dismissed 'per negotiations,' according to court documents and Telles only received a suspended 90-day sentence on the resisting arrest charge on September 30, 2020.
He was required to pay a $418 fine, and attend a 'Corrective Thinking' class focusing on stress management and relationships — which he completed on March 30, 2021.
Now, Telles is facing new charges for the murder of Jeff German, a reporter with the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
He is being held without bail, as he remains in his public administrator role and continues to collect his $130,000 salary until another person is elected.
The revelation comes just one day after Telles appeared in front of a judge, smirking as he was told his next appearance in the case would be September 20th.
He wore a navy prison-issued uniform, smiling and nodding during the proceedings as he remained in handcuffs before being led away.
The official did not speak during the hearing and had white bandages up his arms from his suicide attempt before officers arrested him over German's murder.
The 69-year-old journalist had been found stabbed to death on September 3 after publishing a series of articles exposing married Telles' affair and mismanagements of public office.
He had spent months reporting on the turmoil in Telles' office and how he lost his re-election bid in June.
He also revealed that Telles was having an affair with a colleague after German published a video of him exiting a vehicle with his lover.
Staffer Roberta Lee-Kennett, 45, left the backseat of the car at the same time as the official and can be seen hoisting her skirt down.
Telles has denied all of the allegations made against him by German, including the affair and the claims that he oversaw an abusive workplace.
In the aftermath, Telles railed against German online, DailyMail.com previously revealed, including in an angry series of messages on social media in which he accused him of rifling through his trash and writing 'lying smear pieces' about him.
In a series of public Twitter posts, for example, Telles said German prepared 'lying smear piece #4 by Jeff German, #onetrickpony I think he’s mad that I haven’t crawled into a hole and died.'
He then tweeted: 'Wife hears rustling in the trash* Her: "Honey, is there a wild animal in the trash?"
'Me: "No, dear. Look like it’s Jeff German going through our trash for his 4th story on me." Oh, Jeff…'
Metropolitan police finally announced last week they had discovered a straw hat and a pair of shoes that matched the outfit of a suspect caught on surveillance video in German's neighborhood around the time he was stabbed seven times in the torso.
Both the shoes and the hat had been cut into pieces, but blood was still visible on the soles of the sneakers.
By September 7, police arrived at Telles' home at around 6.30am and searched his home as they released a statement saying they were searching for the individual filmed in a large sunhat and high-visibility jacket.
He was soon released by the officers and refused to deny that he was responsible for the murder of the journalist when approached by reporters.
But police once again arrived at his home in tactical gear at around 6pm that night as Telles remained inside.
About 30 minutes later, he was wheeled out of the home on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance.
As DailyMail.com previously reported, an arrest report says he barricaded himself inside the home, made suicidal statements, and slashed his arms with a knife when SWAT teams arrived that night.
He was also suspected of taking drugs in the moments before he was cuffed, forcing officers to take him to the hospital before he was booked into the county jail.
Officers later said that DNA from under German's fingernails matched a sample taken from Telles, which led to his arrest.
The arrest came after German's colleagues at the Review-Journal helped track down the suspected killer, after recalling tweets Telles sent to German during his investigation.
They discovered that a red GMC Yukon Denali - matching a police description of one seen in the surveillance footage - was parked in his driveway.
Using skills they learned on the job with German, the five-person team at the newspaper sprung into action 'because that's what Jeff would have wanted us to do.'
Police later carried out a search warrant on the home, and his car was towed by midday on Wednesday.
German's colleagues said that they were just doing what he had taught them to do - follow the story and 'aggressively' try to find out what happened.
Executive Editor Glenn Cook said: 'The arrest of Robert Telles is at once an enormous relief and an outrage for the Review-Journal newsroom.
'We are relieved Telles is in custody and outraged that a colleague appears to have been killed for reporting on an elected official.
'Journalists can’t do the important work our communities require if they are afraid a presentation of facts could lead to violent retribution.
'We thank Las Vegas police for their urgency and hard work and for immediately recognizing the terrible significance of Jeff’s killing.
‘Now, hopefully, the Review-Journal, the German family and Jeff’s many friends can begin the process of mourning and honoring a great man and a brave reporter.'