Both Sides Called in Conference by Judge; Trial Set for July 28

by Curator on July 27, 2017

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, June 24, 1913

Dorsey, Beavers and Lanford Summoned to Appear June 30 With All Affidavits They Have Secured Relative to the Phagan Slaying Case.

Just before the conference with both sides in the Frank case started Judge Roan intimated strongly that he would set the case for July 14 or July 28 and hold it in some more commodious court room than the one in which he sits on the fourth floor of the Thrower building. Judge Roan’s personal inclination leans to a date in July, and it is not likely that the State or defense will object to acceding to his wishes.

The date was definitely fixed for July 28 at the conference.

The first important legal move by the defense in the battle for the life and freedom of Leo Frank, accused of the strangling of Mary Phagan, was made Tuesday in the issuance of subpenas duces tecum for the prime movers in the prosecution of the factory superintendent.

The following have been subpenaed to appear:

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey, who will prosecute the prisoner.

Chief of Police James L. Beavers, who was the leader in obtaining incriminating affidavits.

Pinkerton Detective Harry Scott, to whom is generally given credit for the admissions gained from Conley.

All other city detectives who have worked on the case.

All of them are ordered to produce any affidavits they may have bearing on the case in court June 30, indicating that the defense will be prepared to go on with the trial at that time.

Judge Roan, however, had called a conference of the attorneys on both sides of the case for 2 o’clock in the afternoon, when he announced that he would set the date definitely after the attorneys had been given an opportunity to say whether or not their cases would be in shape to present if the trial were called the last of this month.

Plan to Use Same Evidence.

The startling move on the part of the defense was taken to mean that Frank’s lawyers propose to use to free their client the very evidence the detectives and Solicitor General have collected to send him to the gallows.

The most significant demand is made upon Chief Beavers, who is commanded to bring into court the famed series of affidavits made by the negro sweeper, Jim Conley. It is evident that Attorneys Rosser and Arnold, who are conducting the defense, intend to tear the contradictory stories of the negro to tatters and make his statements so utterly ridiculous and improbable that the jury not only will refuse to accept them, but will interpret them as an effort of Conley to get from under the blame for a crime that he committed himself.

Chief Beavers is asked to bring into court the written statement made by Conley May 18 in the presence of Detective John R. Black and Pinkerton Detective Harry Scott; also the affidavit sworn to by Conley before G. C. Febuary in the presence of Chief Lanford and Detectives Black and Scott May 24, the affidavit made by Conley May 28, the affidavit made by the negro May 29 in the presence of Lanford, Campbell and Scott and all other written statements of the negro in the possession or control of the Chief.

Girls Also Are Called.

Chief Beavers is asked, in addition, to bring all the statements of Newt Lee, the negro night watchman; Monteen Stover, the girl who testified that Frank was not in his office when she went for her money; W. M. Matthews, and Miss Grace Hicks, the girl who first identified the dead body as that of Mary Phagan.

The defense has persistently ridiculed the stories of Jim Conley and characterized them as cunning fabrications to shift the blame on Frank’s shoulders.

With the other affidavits, which for the most part are given credence by the defense, the attempt will be merely to show that the evidence which the prosecution holds to point toward the guilt of Frank only more firmly places it on the shoulders of the negro sweeper, and that the State from time to time has shifted the ground on which it based its theory that Frank was guilty.

Hooper Calls Move a Trick.

Frank A. Hooper, associated with Solicitor Dorsey in the prosecution, branded the move of the defense as a thinly veiled trick to impeach the testimony of the witnesses called by the State, and said that it was not at all unlikely that the subpenaes would be resisted.

He intimated his belief that it was the intention of the defense to use the affidavits as a comparison with the testimony of the affiants when […] took the stand in an effort to pick out every discrepancy and thus seek to discredit the witnesses.

Before the conference between Judge Roan and the attorneys on the opposing sides began in the afternoon, the judge announced that he would be the one who would set the date for the trial, after consulting the convenience of the attorneys.

He said that he desired to preclude the possibility that the case would be called for June 30 and the witnesses summoned and then one or another of the attorneys ask for a postponement. He expressed it as his purpose to carry the case through to its completion once it was started.

The judge said that he did not believe it right, in view of the warm weather, to call an umber of witnesses and then delay the case further. He said that after the attorneys on the two sides had been heard he would set the date himself.

Arnold Not Decided.

Reuben Arnold, one of the attorneys for the defense, said that he did not see how the defense could make any definite agreement on the date at this time, becaus [sic] of the possible contingencies that might arise before the trial. Solicitor Dorsey has announced that he was prepared to go ahead with the trial at any time.

That Leo M. Frank will go at once on trial for his life next Monday when he is brought before the court of the charge of strangling little Mary Phagan was the strong probability discussed in court circles Tuesday. The prosecution has announced that[…]

PHAGAN DEFENSE CALLS STATE’S LEADERS

Frank’s Counsel Subpenas Dorsey, Beavers and Lanford. “Trick,” Says Hooper.

Continued From Page 1.

[…]its case has been practically complete for days. The defense has said that all its vital witnesses have been found. There has been no intimation that a continuance will be asked unless it be for some contingency as the illness of Frank or of an important witness.

The defense has been non-committal. The attorneys have not said that they would ask for a postponement. They also have refused to say that they would not seek a delay.

Rosser Reticent.

Luther Z. Rosser, Frank’s attorney, has carefully avoided answering the direct question whether he would be ready for trial on that day. Reuben R. Arnold, associated with him, said the case was complete, but he, too, evaded a statement as to whether they would consent for the trial to begin next week.

Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey is making his preparations for the trial on the supposition that the defense will be ready, and he will urge before the court that the case be tried on the date set. He summoned the first witnesses Monday and Tuesday, and when court opens next Monday he will have the corridors filled with persons who will testify against Frank. His preparations could not be more complete if he had received an announcement from the defense that no continuance would be asked.

Both the prosecution and the defense will have at least twelve vital witnesses. The inability of one to attend the trial, unless by death or removal from the jurisdiction of the court, would necessitate a continuance until this witness could attend the trial.

Arnold’s Stand.

Attorney Arnold openly admitted that if one of his important witnesses was not able to appear in Frank’s behalf when the case was called, he would move for a continuance and would not consider going to trial on the chance of the witness appearing later.

J. M. Gantt, one of the first to be arrested as a suspect, will be one of the most important witnesses for the State.

Developments since he testified at the Coroner’s inquest, it is understood, have made his evidence of the utmost importance. He was one of the few witnesses to go before the Grand Jury when Frank was indicted, and he was closely questioned by the Solicitor Monday afternoon when he finished questioning Conley. It is said that evidence that could have been given by him in the examinations before the Conley affidavit was made, but was considered of no relative importance then, is now of vital interest to the State and he will be one of the star witnesses.

Jury Panel Drawn.

Here is the first panel of jurors drawn:

L. L. Knight, J. M. Clayton, C. G. Childs, J. S. Ball, Joseph H. Horacek, C. T. Nerl, T. J. Cheshire, C. L. Near, W. T. Meadors, T. L. Hindman, L. H. Walter, J. C. Roberts, L. P. Baker, H. D. Reiley, C. T. Bomar, J. D. Cloudman, G. H. Roalader, W. G. Griffin, W. T. Waddell, T. C. Bergren, W. S. Risor, W. F. Wesley, W. F. Stewart, W. R. Smith, H. S. Broadnax, D. A. White, J. A. Reid, J. R. Bailey, J. C. Clayton, H. C. Bentley, H. M. Robinson, E. M. Landrum, M. F. Rogers, Morris Frankel, W. W. Jones, R. S. Johnson, W. A. Wethington, A. R. Smith, Freeman Hiscox, John D. Wing, C. E. Long, W. T. McCullough, Leon McCandless, J. H. Rosy, E. L. Florence, G. H. Cathcart, L. H. Bartlett, P. P. Pound, S. W. Power, J. W. West, John C. Percy, J. C. McKenzie, J. T. Fehr, D. T. Burson, T. F. Conoly, C. C. Bowling, J. C. Ball, C. W. Heery, W. M. Morgan, W. H. Petree, D. P. Pace, C. W. Puckett, J. A. Bankston, Johnston Miller, C. B. Mitchell, J. W. Delbeck, P. L. Soudan, H. M. Christie, A. T. McNeely, John M. Green, W. W. Grabitt, J. H. Graham.

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The Atlanta Georgian, June 24th 1913, “Both Sides Called in Conference by Judge; Trial Set for July 28,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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