Briana Erickson, an investigative reporter at Las Vegas Review Magazine, celebrated her 28th birthday on Friday with, as one did on Labor Day Weekend, an out-of-town getaway. She did not expect that the next day, her team member was found dead.
She did not expect that the news that followed on Sunday was even worse: that he had been killed.
The cascade of terrible developments in the aftermath of Review Magazine investigative reporter Jeff German is killed reached its peak on Wednesday night after Robert Telles, an elected official from Clark County, Nevada, was arrested at his home. The scope of the pursuit is led by Review Magazine reporters, who finally had the opportunity to grieve the colleague they had lost.
“Right now we’re just acting on instinct, actively trying to figure out what happened,” Erickson told The Daily Beast on a call from Review Magazine’editorial office s. “We were finally able to breathe.”
“We’re here for breaking news, because that’s what Jeff wants us to do,” said Michael Scott Davidson, 31, another member of the German team of four.
The newspaper was the first to cover the German murder on Saturday night, a story citing a stabbing following an unspecified “change”. Erickson said the newspaper had just been told that German was found dead outside his home, but when her editor Rhonda Prast saw a press release about a murder at a certain address , Prast has connected the dots.
“She just said, ‘That’s Jeff’s address,'” Erickson said. “I was already asleep, pretty late. So I woke up to the news, actually, that he had been killed. “
Erickson drove six hours back to Vegas from Utah, where she took the time to listen to the eight-episode second season of Mobbed Up, a German-hosted podcast series. Hearing his voice made her feel better, she said, because she knew how proud he was of his work. “That was his legacy culminating in it,” she said.
It also allows her to process the terrible news she receives. “It was just a moment like a WTF moment,” she said. “Just really thinking about Jeff and, you know, who would do this? What could explain this? “
When police released details of the subject on Tuesday — a man wearing a straw hat, gloves, and orange shirt, along with a red or maroon GMC Yukon Denali from 2007 to 2017 has chrome handles and a sunroof — she’s starting to speculate about what might have happened, including whether someone killed him while trying to commit a crime or whether it was retaliation , really or not. “But you know, the crowd stuff was decades ago, and that’s really not justified,” she said.
Some of her colleagues focused on some odd, angry, and often cynical tweets directed at Germans by one man: Telles, a 42-year-old Democrat who serves as the public administrator of Clark County. It’s not unusual for journalists to receive threats about their jobs, Erickson said, pointing to voicemails she says are worse than what Telles tweeted in German.
“We didn’t really think about it,” she said. “But you know, put his address in. And we saw an image on Google Maps of the car in the driveway, one that matched the description. “
It was that revelation that prompted editors to appoint reporters to stake in the house, hoping to get a glimpse of the car to confirm it. Reporters then drove past Telles’ home, where they captured a photo of Telles washing his car just hours after police described the vehicle. Police then executed a search warrant for Telles’ home the next morning when he was not at home, and Telles’ car was towed Wednesday noon.
Still, Review Magazine reporters continue to do their jobs. Erickson talked to Telles employees about what could have led Telles to such an act of violence while news reporter Brett Clarkson and photographer Kevin Cannon arrived at Telles’ home, police returned in that night to catch him.
That process is not easy. An hour-long standoff ensued as police attempted to get Erickson out of his home, which eventually called paramedics to the scene and cleared the vicinity. It left Erickson and her colleagues both shocked and scared, one reminiscent of the anxiety felt over the 2017 mass shooting at a Vegas music festival.
“I was just thinking, ‘Will this person harm himself, and won’t we get justice for Jeff?’” she said. “Of course, he is innocent until proven guilty. . But, you know, this behavior is very alarming.”
Telles was finally arrested Wednesday night as he was loaded into an ambulance outside his home. It allowed the newsroom to finally begin the grieving process, including counseling sessions, for the German “organization” Vegas.
“Jeff is so good at what he does, but he comes here every day like he’s still trying to make money,” Davidson said. “He just came in and did the job. Like he was still trying to prove himself. And it showed in his work.”
The two describe Duc as a serious, dedicated journalist who finds his joy through a love of football – he keeps a soccer ball on his desk, and his favorite teams are Milwaukee Bucs and Green Bay Packers – and occasionally talks about his own stories on Twitter, with readable tweets similar to those in New York Exciting news now or New York Post title.
“He comes up with these funny, almost phony tabloid headlines even though his work is a traditional, well-reported newspaper – not so much as tabloids, but just stuff. hard to hear,” Davidson said with a laugh. “But those tweets were just, I don’t know – it was always fun. I always look forward to hearing how he presents it. “
However, German work has always been difficult, the two said. It makes them more stubborn in their profession, even if the risks of pursuing it have been amplified in such a personal way. “I just can’t understand that we live in a country where we now have to disregard our role to demonstrate the rights guaranteed to us in the First Amendment?” Erickson said.
“Any of us would report this story. Any of us can have one, which means that any story you pursue has the potential to lead to completely unforeseen situations while you are reporting it,” she added. . “So I guess it’s just kind of put me on alert, put all of us here on alert that this is a possibility, which has really never really crossed my mind before.” this.”