Mincey Ready to Tell Story to Grand Jury

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, July 20, 1913

Man Who Says He Heard Negro Confess Now Is at Rising Fawn, Ga.

W.H. Mincey, the school teacher who made an affidavit declaring Jim Conley confessed to him on the afternoon of the murder of Mary Phagan that he killed a girl, will appear before the Grand Jury to repeat his startling story when that tribunal convenes Monday to consider the Phagan matter, it was reported Saturday night.

Mincey, who is now at Rising Fawn, Ga., has expressed his willingness to come to Atlanta for this purpose. His evidence, which has proved the most important of all that has come to light since Conley’s affidavit directing guilt at Frank, is considered of the greatest weight in bringing the Grand Jury to its consideration of indicting Conley.

Hugh Dorsey, Solicitor General, insisted Saturday that his every effort would be directed against the indictment of Conley.

The Solicitor will not fight in Conley’s defense except as a last resort. His chief desire is that the Grand Jury postpone action in regard to the negro until after the Frank trial.

“Conley can be indicted after the Frank trial is disposed of much more properly than at present,” said the Solicitor Saturday. “And by the delay, there will be no danger of a miscarriage of justice.”

The chief contention of the Solicitor is that with Conley indicted for the murder, and with uncertainty thus engendered, much of the force of the State’s case against Leo M. Frank will be lost. It is the insistent declaration by police, city detectives and the Solicitor’s force that a chain of direct and apparently conclusive evidence has been forged against Frank.

It is mostly for this reason that Dorsey will request the Grand Jury to keep its hands off the Conley case. The Solicitor also hinted that he holds evidence, revelation of which would prevent the Grand Jury from indicting the negro. He feels also, as he announced, that a consideration of the Phagan case at this time will bring about an indiscreet exploitation of the State’s evidence, thus revealing essential features of the prosecution’s case to the defense.

All this he will present to the Grand Jury, it is expected.

Other phases of the case discussed Saturday included the intimation that the Frank defense will ask for a trial jury drawn from the Grand Jury box, and not from the petit jury box. The legality of this procedure, according to the Solicitor, is a matter of conjecture.

The Grand Jury will meet Monday at 10 o’clock, at the call of the foreman. The body has only twenty members, and by statute a quorum of eighteen is necessary to consider the indictment or exoneration of a person. The fact that a small margin thus is left for probable absence seems to strengthen the Solicitor’s forecast that no indictment will be returned against Conley at this time.

* * *

The Atlanta Georgian, July 20th 1913, “Mincey Ready to Tell Story to Grand Jury,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)