Lee’s Lawyer Expects Delay in Frank Case

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

The Atlanta Journal

Friday, July 4, 1913

State Certain to Fight Chappell’s Effort to Secure Release of Watchman

Bernard L. Chappell, attorney for Newt Lee, the negro night watchman, who found the body of Mary Phagan in the National Pencil factory basement, declares that Saturday he will bring habeas corpus proceedings to secure the release of his client.

According to the attorney, the negro is being held on the recommendation of the coroner’s jury, which concluded its inquest before James Conley figured in the case. The grand jury has failed to act on Lee’s case, and Attorney Chappell says that he is going to make efforts to secure the negro’s release.

When the habeas corpus proceedings are commenced the state is certain to make a fight to prevent the negro’s release from the Tower on the ground that he is a material witness.

Attorney Chappell states that he has decided to bring the habeas corpus proceedings because he does not believe that the case of Leo M. Frank will actually come to trial on July 28, when it has been set by Judge L. S. Roan, of the superior court.

There are many ways in which such a case may be postponed indefinitely, Lee’s attorney says, and he is not going to allow his client to stay in jail for an indefinite period if he can help it.

As a result, he says he is fully determined to take the legal steps Saturday to secure the negro’s release.

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The Atlanta Journal, July 4th 1913, “Lee’s Lawyer Expects Delay in Frank Case,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)