Girl Strangled, Says Indictment

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

Atlanta Constitution

Saturday, May 24th, 1913

Grand Jury is Now Engaged in Conducting Investigation of the Murder of Mary Phagan.

That the state in its bills of indictment for the murder of Mary Phagan, brought separately against Leo M. Frank and Newt Lee, charges that the girl was strangled, was learned yesterday afternoon following the adjournment of the grand jury, which took up the case at 11 o’clock in the morning and went into its details until 1:45.

Shortly after the adjournment of the grand jury Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey expressed himself as well pleased with the results of the morning session.

“I am well satisfied with results to the present time,” said the solicitor when asked how the case was progressing.

“No, I can’t say how many or what witnesses I will place on the stand tomorrow,” he replied. “That depends to a great extent on the members of the grand jury and on how they feel in regard to the matter.”

Hearing Resumed Today.

The hearing will be resumed at 10 o’clock today, and according to Solicitor Hugh Dorsey, he is uncertain as to whether or not a conclusion will be reached during the day’s session, which is expected to adjourn shortly after 1 o’clock.

Six witnesses were taken before the grand jury by the solicitor in his attempt to secure indictments. The indictments were drawn separately, but were presented at the same time. Both the men held are charged with murder, that being the charge upon which the coroner’s jury bound them over to the grand jury.

Witnesses Before Jury.

The witnesses examined were Dr. J. W. Hurt, recently elected county physician, who examined the body before it was interred; Police Sergeant L. S. Dobbs, one of the officers who first found the body; R. P. Barrett, the machinist who found the evidences of blood and hair on a machine in the factory; “Boots Rogers, in whose machine the officers rode to the factory on the morning the girl was found, and City Detective J. N. Starnes, whose names appears as prosecutor on both bills of indictment.

Dr. Hurt stated that he had told the grand jury practically what he told the coroner’s jury when they were investigating the case. He was the first witness called Friday morning.

The other witnesses were called upon in the order named, and each one was required to go into detail as to his knowledge of the crime. Detective Starnes was kept in the jury room seven minutes longer than any other witness and probably testified in all about half an hour.

“I told them enough to fill a book,” he remarked on coming out, “but if I had been given time to tell all that I know about this case it would have been enough to fill a library.”

What other witnesses the solicitor will call today has been indicated by him. His present indication is that he intends to secure indictments, if possible, with the use of as few witnesses as possible, but to place as many as he can before the jury should they desire to go more into detail and not be satisfied with the first set of witnesses.

There are believed to be two reasons for this: First, that he naturally wishes to save the members of the grand jury as much time as possible and to save the state what expense he can, and, second, and most important, that he feels that he should not show his hand, even before the grand jury, any more than is absolutely necessary.

Of the twenty-three men on the grand jury all but two were present at the M. Beutell, who had been excused in order that he might accompany the Old Guard on its eastern trip, and George Gershon, who had been excused to go to New York city.

The grand jury at the hearing was composed of L. H. Beck, foreman; F. P. H. Akers, R. R. Nash, Charles Heinz, H. G. Hubbard, J. D. Wing, R. A. Redding, V. H. Kriegshaber, R. F. Sams, A. D. Adair, Sr., S. C. Glass, J. G. Bell, Cephas M. Brown, A. L. Guthman, Walker Dunson, W. L. Percy, C. A. Cowles, Sol Benjamin, B. F. Bell, W. F. Besser and Albert Boyleston.

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Atlanta Constitution, May 24th 1913, “Girl Strangled, Says Indictment,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)