Las Vegas Crime Roundup: Robert Telles Requests New Judge in Murder Case
The one-time Clark County administrator accused of killing a Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter wants a different judge to preside over his murder case.
The defendant, Robert Telles, 45, filed a motion in Clark County District Court last week to remove Judge Michelle Leavitt from the legal proceedings.
He claims in a court document she has “deep-seated antagonism that would make fair judgment impossible,” according to Las Vegas TV station KSNV. Another judge, Jerry Wiese, will listen to Telles’ arguments on the motion during a scheduled March 30 hearing.
Telles has chosen to represent himself during the court proceedings. Leavitt questioned Telles about his decision to represent himself, which he called “inappropriate conduct,” KSNV reported.
Telles was formerly a licensed attorney, but his license was suspended, KSNV added.
Telles is accused of killing journalist Jeff German in September and has pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder of an older person.
His trial is scheduled to begin in November. He is being held at Clark County Detention Center without bail.
Judge to Explain Why He Can’t Preside
Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Joe Bonaventure is likely to more fully explain why he can’t sit on a fatal DUI case involving former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III.
Ruggs’ attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld requested that District Court Judge Jennifer Schwartz reassign the case to Bonaventure. Since Ruggs’ arrest, the case has been assigned to different judges at the Las Vegas courthouse.
On Monday, Schwartz told the attorneys the case will return to Bonaventure for a follow-up hearing, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. “I’m not going to force Judge Bonaventure to keep the case if he doesn’t think that he should,” she added.
In February, Bonaventure chose not to preside over the proceeding because he spoke about the case during his reelection campaign.
Ruggs is charged with DUI, reckless driving, and possession of a firearm. His car crashed into a vehicle driven by Tina Tintor. She and her dog died in a fire that followed the November 2021 collision. Ruggs allegedly drove as fast as 156 mph before the crash. After the accident, his blood alcohol level was 0.16%, police said, which is twice the legal limit.
Restaurant Employee Allegedly Slashed by Colleague
A West Las Vegas restaurant employee is scheduled to appear in court on April 20 for allegedly trying to kill a fellow worker during a fight over the kitchen’s cleanliness.
Jose Viles Vasquez, 38, allegedly cut the victim’s neck and arm with a kitchen knife at Hokaido Sushi on February 15. The unnamed worker suffered critical injuries, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. He underwent surgery for two hours at University Medical Center.
A hospital doctor told police the victim’s brain may have been permanently injured because of the length of time that he was deprived of oxygen, the Review-Journal added.
The victim reportedly told Vasquez to clean up the kitchen, which led to an argument between the two men. The two then shoved each other, police said. Vasquez then allegedly grabbed the knife and held the victim with one hand while lunging at him with the knife a half-dozen times.
Vasquez is charged with attempted murder and battery with a deadly weapon resulting in substantial bodily harm.