Both Sides Are Ready for Trial of Frank

by Curator on July 27, 2017

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

The Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, June 25, 1913

Few Developments Expected Between Now and July 28, Conley Is Grilled

The statements made by Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey and by Reuben R. Arnold and Luther Z. Rosser, the counsel for the defense before the postponement of the trial of Leo M. Frank from June 30, the date set by the solicitor, to July 28, indicate very strongly that neither side expects further developments of importance in the investigation.

Mr. Dorsey told the court that his case was complete and that he was ready for trial. All of the statements by Attorneys Arnold and Rosser indicate that they also have completed the preparation of the defense and are ready for the court fight.

One of the most interesting of the statements made by counsel was that of Mr. Arnold, who said that it would take two weeks to try the case, showing that the defense will have many witnesses, and will come to court prepared to fight every inch in the case.

The action of the defense in demanding through subpoenas duces tecum practically all of the affidavits of importance which have been made the detectives during the Phagan investigation seems to bear out the theory published in The Journal that the defense will consist of the corroboration of Frank’s story as told at the inquest by a number of witnesses, and of an effort to establish, largely by the detectives themselves, the thory [sic] that the negro James Conley is guilty of the crime with which Frank is charged.

It is certain that Conley’s story will be attacked through his many varying affidavits, and much evidence to assist Frank will be brought out through the city detectives, who charge him with the crime.

The substance of all of the affidavits demanded by the defense is known. Conley’s varying affidavits have long formed one of the sensations of the case. Miss Grace Hix, it will be remembered, identified Mary Phagan’s body, while Miss Monteen Stover declares that she came to the pencial [sic] factory of the date of the tragedy at 12:05 o’clock and found no one in the office, not even Frank, who had testified that he was there at that hour.

W. M. Matthews, whose affidavit is also wanted, is a street car motorman working on the English avenue line. He states that a girl, whom he afterwards learned was Mary Phagan, boarded his car near Bellwood avenue on the date of the tragedy, and that she left it about 12:10 o’clock at Broad and Hunter streets.

The statement of the motorman will be valuable to the defense for the reason that the little newsboy who swears he rode to the city with Mary Phagan the day she met her death, states that she got off the car at Forsyth street and went over the viaduct, while he went under it to get some papers.

Jim Conley, the negro sweeper, is said to have gone through another grilling at police headquarters, Detectives Starnes and Campbell having shortly before noon Tuesday conferred for a long time with him in a cell at police headquarters.

It is said that Conley has in no way changed the story he told when his last affidavit was signed.

Apparently the detectives are not yet satisfied with the story told by Conley as again Wednesday morning the negro was put on the grill by officers, who visited his cell at headquarters. Chief of Police J. L. Beavers, when questioned as to the reason of the sudden determination of the detectives to resume the examination of the negro, stated that no special significance was to be attached to the action.

“We have not yet been able to break the negro’s story,” the official said, “nor have we found witnesses, who can prove that it is incorrect.”

It is said that the questioning of the negro has been resumed at the instance [sic] of Solicitor Dorsey, who desires that the detectives examine the negro on every point, regardless of how insignificant it may seem.

The officials deny that anything has occurred to change their theory of the case.

A story published under a Washington date line Wednesday stated that Senator Hoke Smith has denied that an effort has been made to interest him in the Frank defense.

Luther Z. Rosser when asked to comment on the report said that he had nothing to say except that the matter had been correctly stated by the senator.

It was learned definitely Wedensday [sic] that there will be no effort to thrash out the matter on subpenas duces tecum served to stated officers to produce many affidavits made in the Phagan investigation, when court meets Monday.

The matter will not come up until the actual trial of Frank is entered into.

While the subpenas ordered the affidavits produced on June 30 the documents read “or any other time that the case of the state against Frank may be tried in the superior court.”

* * *

The Atlanta Journal, June 25th 1913, “Both Sides Are Ready for Trial of Frank,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Previous post:

Next post: