Former official accused in Las Vegas journalist killing hires lawyer, gets trial date pushed back

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada judge on Wednesday pushed back to next March a trial date for a former Las Vegas-area elected official who remains jailed and has been serving as his own defense attorney in the killing of an investigative reporter more than a year ago.

Robert Telles, once the Democratic county administrator of estates, used his court appearance to inform Clark County District Court Judge Michelle Leavitt that he hired another lawyer, Gary Modafferi, to assist in his murder defense.

Modafferi, a defense attorney in Las Vegas for 12 years, was not in the courtroom. He 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.

Telles has pleaded not guilty in the September 2022 killing of Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German and had insisted since his arrest that he wanted the earliest possible trial date. But after Telles sought a delay, the judge pushed back the Nov. 6 trial date to March 18.

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