Dr. H. F. Harris Will Take Stand This Afternoon

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 4th, 1913

Secretary of State Board of Health Will Resume Testimony Interrupted by His Collapse on Last Friday.


Friends and Relatives Besiege Prisoner in Cell on Sunday. Shows Little Evidence of Strain of Trial, Say Jail Officials.

The state will open this afternoon’s session of the Frank trial with Dr. Roy Harris on the stand, it is stated, if the physician’s health is as much improved as it was on Sunday.

The solicitor had not finished his examination of Dr. Harris on Friday afternoon when he collapsed upon the stand and necessitated the support of Deputy Sheriff Plennie Miner in moving from the courtroom.

A sharp clash is expected between the state and defense over Dr. Harris’ testimony. In an exacting cross examination of Dr. J. W. Hurt Saturday morning, the defense proved that many of the opinions held by the two physicians were conflicting.

State Will Use Photo.

The solicitor has requested a reporter of The Constitution to produce in court this morning a photograph taken by The Constitution staff photographer on the morning of the discovery of the murder of the spot in the pencil factory basement at which Mary Phagan’s body was found. Just what use to which the picture will be put has not been divulged.

Arrangements have been made by Deputy Miner to prevent overcrowding the courtroom, which has been the case in the later sessions of the trial. Instructions will be given doorkeepers to let only a certain number within the building, after which the doors will be closed to all those who are not engaged in the proceedings.

Frank spent a restful Sunday in his cell in the Tower. Throughout the day, friends and relatives besieged his cell. His health, it is stated by jail officials, is good, and he shows but little evidence of the strain caused by the trial. His wife and mother remained at home during the day, recuperating from the effects of the long hours stay in the courtroom. They did not appear at the jail at any time during Sunday.

Will Use Dobbs Again.

Police Sergeant L. S. Dobbs, who has already been on the stand for the state in the Frank trial, is expected to be recalled this morning, as his name was called Saturday afternoon and his absence alone prevented him being used again.

What further detail the state expects to bring out by the police officer is not known and it may be that he will be kept on the stand only a few minutes to tell a few additional things about the trip to the factory Sunday morning that the body was found and thus impress certain facts upon the jury.

Jim Conley, the negro sweeper, will be placed on the stand some time during the early part of the week, probably Tuesday or Wednesday, as the state is gradually paving the way and leading up to Conley’s statement.

Will Lanford Take Stand?

Before Conley takes the stand Newport Lanford, chief of the detective department, may be put up. Solicitor Hugh Dorsey refuses to say definitely whether or not he will use Chief Lanford, but it is known that the defense has made preparation to attack him and fight against him the same battle that battered John Black to pieces.

Chief Lanford will be confronted with the various statements he made during the progress of the trial and the belief is that the defense will try to show that he went into the case with the view of fastening the crime upon one man the man against whom suspicion did not seem to point for a few days, but who is now the defendant in the case.

Just what will happen when the experienced detective faces the grilling that Luther Rosser is capable of or the alert and confusing questions that Reuben Arnold can fire at a witness is a matter of much speculation.

Mrs. May Barrett, who was examined by the solicitor and who was expected to appear during the trial has not been called upon and whether or not she will take the stand is yet unknown.

Mrs. Formby in Background.

Mrs. Mina Formby has remained in the background thus far and while the woman recently declared that she would be at the trial to testify she has not so far been mentioned and apparently no effort has been made to pave the way for the story she is said to have.

That the state is yet holding something to be used in the final effort is known and yet what that is no one can say. From the attitude of the state’s lawyers something is yet to come but whether it will be of more importance than what has already been developed remains to be seen.

It is expected that at least two days will be taken up by Conley’s statement and cross examination and should the negro be brought up as early as Tuesday and used as the final witness, the defense would not open its case until Thursday.

Already the state has introduced numbers of its witnesses. Sergeant Dobbs, Detective John Black and Pinkerton Detective Harry Scott. Boots Rogers and others who went to the factory and saw the body of Mary Phagan have told their story.

N. V. Darley, one of the factory heads and various employees of the factory have been used.

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Atlanta Constitution, August 4th 1913, “Dr. H.F. Harris Will Take Stand This Afternoon,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)