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911 call to police from Robert Telles’ wife: ‘My husband is going crazy’

Updated September 15, 2022 - 3:37 pm

A physical fight between elected official Robert Telles and his wife in 2020 started at a casino, continued in the car on the way home and ended in his arrest, records show.

In a 911 call obtained by the Review-Journal, Mae Ismael reported that her husband was “going crazy.”

911 call from Robert Telles’ wife Mae Ismael details 2020 fight:

Telles, who is accused of murdering Review-Journal investigative reporter Jeff German, faced charges of domestic battery and resisting police and was arrested on the two charges on March 1, 2020.

The domestic charge was dismissed “per negotiations,” and Telles, 45, received a suspended 90-day sentence on the resisting charge on Sept. 30, 2020. He was required to pay a $418 fine, attend a “Corrective Thinking” class, which focuses on stress management and relationships, and stay out of trouble, records and interviews show.

On March 30, 2021, Telles completed the class and the case was dismissed, court documents show.

Emergency dispatch records show Metropolitan Police Department officers were summoned to the Clark County public administrator’s home in Peccole Ranch shortly after 11 p.m. on Feb. 29, 2020.

Telles’ wife, Mae Ismael, is listed as the caller.

“He just won’t leave us alone,” she said in the recording. “He had too much to drink tonight, and it’s just … me and my kids are scared.”

Telles could be heard mumbling in the background, seemingly dismissing what she was saying.

Ismael later told officers that she and Telles were at the Bellagio, where he became intoxicated and started arguing with her. They decided to leave, according to the arrest report.

As Ismael drove home, Telles grabbed her neck and hit her arm, according to the report. He also tried breaking things in the car.

The fighting continued at their house.

Ismael told police that Telles yelled “kill me!” She and their two children hid in a room. After she called 911, Telles grabbed his wife in a tight “bear hug” and did not let go until his children pried him away, police said.

“The force of the grab, and Robert’s demeanor frightened the children,” stated the report, which also noted Ismael had no visible injuries.

While Metro was at the home, Telles began arguing with his wife again. He yelled at officers when they tried to keep the two separated, according to the report.

Officers tried to place Telles into handcuffs, but he resisted by flexing his arms in front of his body and collapsing onto a chair. He refused to get up after repeated requests by police, the report states.

They eventually forced his arms into handcuffs and arrested him.

Nevada Bar Association Counsel Dan Hooge said Telles would be required to report any convictions and had not reported the 2020 incident. He said it is difficult to determine if it should have been reported.

“It looks very close,” he said in an email exchange after reviewing the dockets. “Our rules, well SCR 111, deems any suspended or reduced sentence irrelevant as long as the attorney initially pleaded guilty. So, he would still need to report if he pleaded guilty and got a suspended sentence. But in these two cases, it shows not guilty pleas and suspended or reduced sentences.”

He said he thinks Telles’ attorney knew the rules enough to negotiate the plea.

“It looks like Mr. (Ross) Goodman got him a pretty good deal without a conviction,” he said. “He probably did that intentionally as to not trigger the reporting requirements.”

Las Vegas city spokesman Jace Radke said the classes were required as part of the negotiations.

Prosecutors have accused Telles of “lying in wait” to kill German. He faces a charge of murder with the following enhancements: use of a deadly weapon and victim being an older person.

German was found stabbed to death outside his home on the morning of Sept. 3, a day after a suspect was captured on video approaching his house. Police searched Telles’ home and recovered bloody shoes and a cut-up straw hat resembling the one worn by the suspect, according to an arrest report. They also found his DNA at the scene.

German spent months reporting on the turmoil surrounding Telles’ oversight of the public administrator’s office early in 2022.

Telles, a Democrat, lost his re-election bid in the June primary after German’s findings were published, but his term does not expire until the end of the year.

Telles is being held without bail and is expected back in court next week.

Ismael did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

Telles’ attorney in the domestic case, Goodman, also did not return a call and email seeking comment.

Court records show that Telles has another child from his previous marriage to Tonia Burton, whom he divorced in 2008 after six years.

In an interview Wednesday, Burton said she never experienced violence while married to Telles.

“I’m still in shock,” she said. “It makes me wonder: How could I have not known that somebody I was married to at some point would be accused of something like this? What did I miss?”

Contact Arthur Kane at akane@reviewjournal.com and follow @ArthurMKane on Twitter. Contact Briana Erickson at berickson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5244. Follow @ByBrianaE on Twitter.

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