Frank Trial Delay up to Roan

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 24th, 1913


Solicitor Disappointed When Court Fails to Draw Jury Panels at Time Planned.

With the belief growing that a serious effort is being made to delay the trial of Leo Frank, set for next Monday, Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey Thursday renewed his protest against further postponement in a vigorous statement, declaring the prosecution is ready with a complete case against the National Pencil Company factory head, accused of killing Mary Phagan.

The trial date rests entirely with Judge Roan, who is in Covington. The drawing of the jury venire awaited word from him, expected some time during the afternoon. At his home it was said the Judge would not return until to-morrow.

Reuben R. Arnold, of counsel for Frank, was said to have consulted with Judge Roan in Covington and presented arguments for delay, but the truth of this report could not be established.

Judge Leaves for Atlanta.

Judge Pendleton, who will conduct the drawing of the jury, said Thursday afternoon that he had received no word from Judge Roan and would proceed unless he did.

A long distance message from Covington had it that Judge Roan left shortly before 2 o’clock for Atlanta and the indications were that it would be known definitely before Thursday night whether the long-awaited trial will begin Monday or be delayed once more.

In a statement to The Georgian, Solicitor Dorsey said:

“The prosecution was ready June 30 in the case of the State vs. Leo M. Frank, charged with the murder of little Mary Phagan on April 26 last. We have subpenaed all the witnesses, expecting to try this case on Monday next. This date was set at the suggestion of Judge L. S. Roan at the instance of counsel for the defense.

“We are disappointed that the jury […]

Solicitor Declares He Is Ready and Will Oppose Any Move for Delay.

[…] was not drawn this morning as Judge Roan stated it would be done.

“The State assuredly will be ready Monday unless something entirely unforeseen happens, and will ask trial of this man at that time.”

Jury Not Drawn.

Superior Judge John T. Pendleton declined to draw a jury for the Frank trial Thursday morning until he heard definitely from Judge L. S. Roan whether the case would be opened next Monday. Judge Pendleton announced he would know definitely by 4 o’clock Thursday afternoon whether the case would be called Monday, and he would draw the jury at that time if necessary.

Deputy Sheriff Plinnie [sic] Miner had instructions from Judge Roan to have one of the other judges draw the jury Thursday unless he was notified to the contrary. Miner heard nothing from Judge Roan and carried the jury box to Judge Pendleton to have the twelve panels drawn. He notified the attorneys for the State and the prosecution in ample time for them to be at the court. Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey and his assistant were the only attorneys to put in an appearance.

It developed Thursday morning that there were two rather ruffled chiefs at the police department the previous afternoon when Jim Conley was sneaked from his cell in the station over to the Tower without their permission and without their knowledge.

Chief Lanford said: “This will never happen again.”

Chief Beavers would not talk of the incident, but is understood to have told the two detectives, Starnes and Campbell, that if the negro were taken from the police station again he (Beavers) proposed to be in on it.

There was a commotion at police headquarters Wednesday afternoon, when it was found that Conley had been spirited away to confront Newt Lee in the Tower. Chief Lanford knew nothing of the circumstance until he was informed by The Georgian. Even then he insisted that Conley was in his cell.

Then Detectives Explain.

He went to Chief Beavers’ office to see if permission had been given there for Conley’s removal. Beavers said he did not know Conley was gone. Station Sergeant Holcomb was appealed to. He said he had not been notified that the prisoner was to be taken away. Turnkey Bayne, the last resort, was asked to explain the mysterious disappearance of Conley. He informed Chief Beavers that Detective Starnes and Campbell had taken him about a half hour before.

The Chief, to satisfy himself that Conley was still in custody, made a personal visit to the jail.

When Starnes and Campbell later were in conference with the Chief they told him that they had said nothing about their intention because neither Chief Beavers nor Chief Lanford was in the station at the time.