Conley is Confronted with Lee – Dorsey Grills Negroes in Same Cell at Jail

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 23rd, 1913

TRACE FOUND HERE OF NEGRO SAID TO HAVE SEEN PHAGAN SLAYING

Sister of Will Green Tells Police He Slept at Home at Hour Girl Was Slain; Jim Conley, Factory Sweeer [sic] Again Grilled.

The two negro principals in the Phagan case—Newt Lee and Jim Conley—were put on the grill together in the cell of the former in the county jail by Solicitor Dorsey and his assistant, Frank G. Hooper, late Wednesday afternoon.

Present at the cross-examination were J. M. Gantt, former pencil factory employee, and Detectives Starnes and Campbell, the officers who have had charge of Conley for the past several weeks. After half an hour’s questioning Gantt left the jail. Solicitor Dorsey and the others remained and the questioning of the two negroes continued until a late hour. Conley was then taken back to police headquarters.

Here are Wednesday’s important developments in the Phagan murder mystery:

Bloodstained glove of Mary Phagan is said to have been found on the first floor near the place the discovery of her pay envelope was made.

New evidence is found tending to establish the identity of the negro, Will Green, said to have seen the attack upon Mary Phagan.

Newt Lee, negro night watchman at the pencil factory, undergoes a grilling examination at the hands of Solicitor General Dorsey and his associate counsel, Frank A. Hooper.

J. M. Gantt, expected to give sensational evidence for the prosecution at the trial, is in conference with the solicitor and present at the grilling of Lee.

Leo M. Frank tells Sheriff Mangum that he is eager for the trial to begin, and will be ready when it is called Monday morning.

Solicitor Dorsey announces that he will insist that there be no further delay.

It became known Wednesday that the defense in the Frank case had been informed that the negro, Will Green, who is said to have been shooting craps with Jim Conley the day that Mary Phagan was murdered and to have seen her attacked, and the Will Green living at 105 Thurmond street, Atlanta, are the same person.

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Grand Jury Defers Action on Conley

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 22nd, 1913

TALK OF POSTPONING FRANK TRIAL TILL FALL

Protest of Solicitor Dorsey Wins

Presents Evidence Showing Indictment of Negro Would Hinder Frank Prosecution.

Here are the important developments of Monday in the Phagan case:

The decision of the Grand Jury of Fulton County not to bring at this time an indictment against James Conley.

The information that there is a strong probability of another postponement of the trial of Leo M. Frank.

The Grand Jury’s refusal to reopen its investigation of the Phagan murder mystery was a decided victory for the Solicitor after that body had overridden his request that no session be called to take up the matter in any of its aspects.

A report that Judge L. S. Roan who will preside at the Frank trial had signified his desire that the case be put off until fall, gave rise to the expectation that another postponement will take place, and that the date probably will be set for some week in September.

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Will Not Indict Jim Conley Now, Jury’s Decision

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

The Atlanta Journal

Monday, July 21, 1913

Solicitor Dorsey Makes Brief Announcement to This Effect After Grand Jury Session Lasting Over an Hour

NO ANONYMOUS LETTERS WANTED BY THE JURORS

Solicitor Dorsey Will Now Concentrate Efforts Against Having Frank Jury Drawing From Grand Jury List

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey has for a second time blocked an attempt by members of the grand jury to indict James Conley, the negro sweeper, who confessed complicity in the Mary Phagan murder.

The grand jurymen who had called a meeting over the protest of the solicitor to consider taking up a bill against the negro listened to the prosecuting official for more than an hour Monday morning, and then authorized him to announce that the matter will not be taken up at this time.

DORSEY MAKES STATEMENT.

The solicitor wrote out his statement, which is as follows:

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Grand Jury Meets to Consider Conley Case

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, July 21, 1913

Protest of Solicitor Will Be Heeded

Foreman Declares Inquisitorial Body Will Not Ride “Roughshod” Over Dorsey.

With Solicitor Dorsey reaffirming his certainty that Jim Conley will not be indicted before the tral [sic] of Leo M. Frank and declaring that he will fight with all his vigor any movement in that direction, the Grand Jury members gathered in the Thrower Building Monday morning in response to the call of Foreman Beatie to decide whether they will reopen their investigation of the Phagan murder mystery.

A strong probability that no action would be taken during the day arose when it became known that there were only eighteen of the grand jurors in the city, a bare quorum. In the event that all of the eighteen did not appear, there still was the opportunity to go out and summon talesmen at random to serve on the Grand Jury, but no statement was made as to whether this legal privilege would be exercised.

No Witnesses Called.

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Protest of Solicitor Dorsey Wins

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, July 21, 1913

Presents Evidence Showing Indictment of Negro Would Hinder Frank Prosecution.

Here are the important developments of Monday in the Phagan case:

The decision of the Grand Jury of Fulton County not to bring at this time an indictment against James Conley.

The information that there is a strong probability of another postponement of the trial of Leo M. Frank.

The Grand Jury’s refusal to reopen its investigation of the Phagan murder mystery was a decided victory for the Solicitor after that body had overridden his request that no session be called to take up the matter in any of its aspects.

A report that Judge L.S. Roan, who will preside at the Frank trial, had signified his desire that the case be put off until fall, gave rise to the expectation that another postponement will take place, and that the date probably will be set for some week in September.

Defense Said To Be Willing.

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Dorsey Is Seeking to Be Grand Jury And Solicitor Too, Say Frank’s Counsel

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

The Atlanta Journal

Sunday, July 20, 1913

SOLICITOR SCORED FOR HIS ATTITUDE IN CONLEY’S CASE

Rosser and Arnold Charge Dorsey Seeks to Convict Frank, Guilty or Innocent, Out of Professional Pride

“SHUTTING EYES TO TRUTH, DORSEY PROTECTS NEGRO”

Attorneys Intimate That Dorsey Fears to Let Truth Be Known – Attitude Throughout Case Is Criticised

The attitude of Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey throughout the Phagan investigation, and especially in his attempt to block a grand jury indictment of Jim Conley, is scored in an interview made public by Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold, counsel for Leo M. Frank.

“The solicitor is seeking to convict Frank innocent or guilty, in order to gratify his professional pride,” Frank’s attorneys say.

In the course of the intetrview [sic] the two famous attorneys, who have been engaged to defend the man accused of the murder of Mary Phagan, charge that the solicitor is protecting the negro Conley.

Mr. Dorsey is severely criticised not only for his avowed intention of trying to block the indictment of Conley by the grand jury Monday, but because he prevented the last grand jury, the one, which indicted Frank, from acting on Conley’s case, and because he did not place before the last grand jury any of Conley[‘s] confessions.

Solicitor Dorsey is geeting [sic] his legal and constitutional functions in seeking to control the action of the grand judy [sic],” Attorneys Rosser and Arnold declare.

Despite the criticism of his attitude, there is little doubt that Solicitor Dorsey will be present Monday, when the grand jury takes up the consideration of the Conley case. In fact the solicitor’s presence has been requested by W.D. Beattie, the foreman of the grand jury, who called the meeting.

Solicitor Dorsey is still confident that the grand jury will not indict Conley.

There is little doubt that there will be a quorum present, when the grand jury meeting is called Monday, for Deputy Sheriff Plennie Minor has found that  19 of the 20 grand jurors empanneled [sic] are in the city, and they have promised to be present Monday. It takes 18 grand jurors to act on a bill of indictment. The statement of Mr. Rosser and Mr. Arnold, scoring the solicitor is as follows:

STATEMENT IN FULL.

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Dorsey Fights Movement to Indict Conley

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, July 20, 1913

Solicitor Is Bombarded With Letters to Proceed Against Negro as Slayer of Mary Phagan.

THE GRAND JURY IS CALLED

Hottest Battle of Famous Case To Be Waged Behind Closed Doors of Inquisitory Body.

Solicitor Dorsey is fighting vigorously the movement in the Grand Jury to indict Jim Conley Monday for the murder of Mary Phagan, despite the bambardment [sic] of letters from many citizens and by the sentiment of some of its own members.

It is for the consideration of these letters and petitions, asking the reopening of the Phagan matter, that the meeting has been called.

It was in the face of Solicitor Dorsey’s bitterest opposition that the meeting was called at all. Foreman Beattie issued his defi [sic] after a previous Grand Jury had been defeated in its efforts to reopen the case with a view of indicting Jim Conley and after Dorsey explicitly had expressed his strongest disapproval of such a move.

Crucial Battle Coming.

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Mincey Story Declared Vital To Both Sides in Frank Case

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, July 20, 1913

By AN OLD POLICE REPORTER.

The most important and interesting development of the week in the Phagan case was the Mincey affidavit, directing suspicion more surely in the direction of James Conley than ever before, if the affidavit is that of a credible witness.

If what Mincey says is true—if his evidence can be made to “stand up” in court—then he is far and away not only the most important witness yet discovered, but his testimony will serve to clear up the mysterious Phagan case in its most obscure phases.

Solicitor General Hugh Dorsey has attacked Mincey’s credibility. Naturally, he would do that.

If Mincey is worthy of belief and is speaking the truth, he has dealt the State’s case against Frank a deadly blow, from which it can not hope to recover.

If he does not speak the truth, and that can be established, it will redound fo [sic] the hurt of the defense, for it will have a bracing-up effect upon Conley’s other story.

But Who Is Mincey?

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Counsel of Frank Says Dorsey Has Sought to Hide Facts

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, July 20, 1913

Attorneys Rosser and Arnold, in a Statement to the Press, Make Bitter Attack on Solicitor for His Conduct of Phagan Case.

Call Attention to Secrecy Maintained by Prosecution, and Declare Action of State’s Attorney Has Inflamed Public Opinion.

Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold, attorneys for Leo M. Frank, who will be tried July 29 on the charge of killing Mary Phagan, joined Saturday in a bitter attack upon the policy of Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey, whose procedure in the case, they said, had inflamed public opinion and had placed the Solicitor far below the dignity of his office.

In a formal statement, they charged that Dorsey had ignored his constitutional and legal functions and had sought to usurp those of the Grand Jury by his attempt to block the indictment of Jim Conley by that body.

They described his action as unprecedented and dangerous in the extreme, and represented Dorsey and Conley as partners in “a harmonious concert.”

The document, which is one of the few public statements issued by the defense, is bristling with criticism of the Solicitor’s conduct throughout the investigation of the murder mystery, and charges that Dorsey has maintained his belief in Frank’s guilt apparently for no other purpose than to convict Frank.

Call Attention to Secrecy.

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Frank’s Lawyers Score Dorsey for His Stand

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, July 20, 1913

Luther Rosser and Reuben Arnold Declare He Is Going Out of His Way to Dictate to the Grand Jury.

EXCEEDS PROVINCE OF SOLICITOR GENERAL

Grand Jury Will Meet at 10 O’Clock Monday Morning to Take Up Conley Case. Call Is Sent Out.

In reply to Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey’s statements in regard to the proposed indictment by the grand jury of James Conley, the negro who has confessed complicity in the murder of Mary Phagan, Attorneys Reuben R. Arnold and Luther Z. Rosser issued a statement Saturday afternoon in which they openly attacked the stand taken by the solicitor in protesting against the indictment of the negro.

That the solicitor is exceeding his legal functions as a state officer is one point that the lawyers defending Leo M. Frank make in their statement, and they also severely criticise the solicitor for his detective work in the Phagan murder.

The card also contains a reference to the statement made in The Constitution Saturday morning by Attorney William M. Smith, representing the negro Conley. The card of the Frank defense takes Attorney Smith to task for rushing to the aid of the solicitor.

Solicitor General Dorsey also issued a statement in which he declared that he no more believed that the grand jury, when it meets Monday, would indict James Conley than he believes that Judge J.T. Pendleton will accede to the request of Frank attorneys to draw the venire for the trial jury from the box containing names of grand jury veniremen.

Roan Out of City.

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Jury Is Determined to Consider a Bill Against Jim Conley

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

The Atlanta Journal

Saturday, July 19, 1913

Protest of Solicitor Fails to Stop Session to Consider Phagan Evidence on Monday

DORSEY STILL BELIEVES JURY WON’T INDICT

Solicitor Says Frank Defense Wants Jury to Try Him Drawn From the Grand Jury List

Grand Jurors Who Will Consider Conley’s Case

This is the Fulton county grand jury which has been called to meet Monday over the protest of the solicitor to take up the case of Jim Conley, the negro sweeper at the National Pencil factory:
W.D. Beatie, foreman.
T.C. Whitner.
John S. Spalding.
W.C. Carroll, East Point.
H.B. Ferguson.
Garnet McMillan, East Point.
Edward H. Inman.
A.W. Farlinger.
M.A. Fall.
Julius M. Skinner.
Oscar Elsas.
George Bancroft.
W.H. Glenn.
S.E. McConnell.
Thomas J. Buchanan.
Sameuel A. Carson.
Eugene Oberdorfer.
A.Q. Adams.
W.O. Stamps.
W.T. Ashford.

There are only twenty citizens on the grand jury which has been called to meet Monday by Foreman W.D. Beattie to consider indicting James Conley, the negro sweeper, for the murder of Mary Phagan.

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Dorsey Resists Move to Indict Jim Conley

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Saturday, July 19, 1913

GRAND JURY SPLIT BY LATEST MOVE

Public Opinion Forces Consideration of Move to Indict Conley for Phagan Slaying.

Solicitor Dorsey is fighting vigorously the movement in the Grand Jury to indict Jim Conley Monday for the murder of Mary Phagan, despite the bombardment of letters from many citizens and by the sentiment of some of its own members.

It is for the consideration of these letters and petitions, asking the reopening of the Phagan matter, that the meeting has been called. That it will result in the indictment of the negro is thought certain.

It was in the face of Solicitor Dorsey’s bitterest opposition that the meeting was called at all. Foreman Beattie issued his den [sic] after a previous Grand Jury had been defeated in its efforts to reopen the case with a view of indicting Jim Conley and after Dorsey explicitly had expressed his strongest disapproval of such a move.

Crucial Battle Coming.

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Grand Jury Meets to Indict Conley

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Saturday, July 19, 1913

Call Is Issued After Solicitor General Hugh Dorsey Had Flatly Refused Request of Foreman.

A call for the Fulton grand jury to meet at 10 o’clock Monday to take steps leading to the indictment of James Conley, the negro sweeper of the National Pencil factory who accuses Leo M. Frank, its superintendent, of the Mary Phagan murder was issued yesterday by Foreman W.D. Beatie [sic] after Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey had flatly refused the foreman’s request to call the meeting.

The move to indict Conley is wrong and should not be made, the solicitor told the grand jury foreman when discussing the matter with him and the call which went out was over the head of the state’s legal representative in Fulton county.

Smith Attacks Action

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Scott Believes Conley Innocent, Asserts Lanford

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Saturday, July 19, 1913

Chief’s Statement Follows the Publication of Report That Pinkertons Are Now of the Opinion Sweeper Is Guilty.

“OPEN TO CONVICTION,” SCOTT TELLS REPORTER

“Our Testimony in Case Will Be Fair and Impartial,” He Says—Grand Jury Called to Consider Indicting Conley.

DEVELOPMENTS OF DAY IN MARY PHAGAN CASE

Meeting of grand jury called to take steps leading to indictment of James Conley on the charge of murder, over protest of Solicitor General Hugh Dorsey, who declares that indictment of Conley will be useless procedure.

Reported on Friday that the Pinkertons have changed their opinion in case, and now believe Conley guilty of murder, and Leo M. Frank innocent.

Harry Scott, field manager of Pinkertons, is denied permission to see Conley in his cell and subject him to quiz, although always allowed this privilege in past.

“Scott told me he still believes Conley innocent and Frank guilty,” says Chief of Detectives Lanford. “Pinkertons will give fair and impartial testimony at coming trial,” Scott tells Constitution. “Whether it affects Frank or the negro is no concern of ours; we were employed to find the murderer.”

“Conley is dealing fairly with the state of Georgia,” says his attorney, William M. Smith, in making attack on action of the grand jury.

That Harry Scott, field manager for the Pinkertons, came to police headquarters yesterday afternoon immediately following the publication of a story to the effect that the Pinkertons now believed in Conley’s guilt, and declared that he still held to the theory that the negro was innocent and Frank guilty, was the assertion made by Newport Lanford, chief of detectives, last night.

“Scott told me,” said the chief last night, “that there was no truth in the article so far as he personally was concerned, and that he continued firm in the belief that Conley was innocent.

“He has maintained throughout the investigation that Frank is guilty, and that Conley had nothing more to do with the crime than the complicity to which he confessed. He came to me Friday especially to deny the story.

Why Scott Was Barred.

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Pinkertons Now Declare Leo M. Frank Is Innocent

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

The Atlanta Journal

Friday, July 18, 1913

*Editor’s Note: Small sections of text are missing due to scanning near a crease.

NOTED SLEUTHS WHO HAD ACCUSED FRANK NOW CHANGE THEORY

Harry Scott, Field Chief of the Pinkertons, Refuses to Discuss the Agency’s Change of Theory.

AGENTS HAVE WORKED ON CASE ALONG WITH POLICE

The Pinkertons Were Employed by the National Pencil Factory Immediately Following the Murder

That the Pikerton [sic] detectives, who for so many weeks held to the theory that Leo M. Frank is guilty of the Mary Phagan murder, now lay the crime to the door of Jim Conley, is a recent development of interest to the students of the murder mystery.

While Harry Scott, the field chief of the Pinkerton operatives, who have been working on the case practically from the first, employed by the National pencil factory to find Mary Phagan’s murderer, regardless of who the criminal might be, refuses to discuss the case, the Journal has learned from unquestioned authority that the theory of the Pinkertons has undergone a change.

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Grand Jury Is Called Monday to Indict Jim Conley

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

The Atlanta Journal

Friday, July 18, 1913

*Editor’s Note: Small sections of text are missing due to scanning near a crease.

GRAND JURY CALLED TO TAKE UP MATTER OVER DORSEY’S HEAD

Foreman W.D. Beattie Calls Body to Meet Monday and Take Up Evidence Against Negro in Phagan Girl’s Case derer [sic]

SOLICITOR REFUSED TO ISSUE THE CALL

Notwithstanding the Solicitor’s Protest, Foreman Calls a Meeting Anyhow—Dorsey Issues a Statement

Over the vigorous protest of Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey, the foreman of the grand jury has called a meeting for Monday for the specific purpose of considering an indictment against James Conley, the negro sweeper, who claims that he assisted Superintendent Leo M. Frank in disposing of the body of Mary Phagan, after she had been murdered in the National pencil factory on April 26.

The solictior [sic] general was approached Friday morning by W. D. Beattie, real estate dealer, who is the foreman of the present jury. Mr. Beattie asked Mr. Dorsey to call a meeting of the jury, and the solicitor flatly refused. Then Mr. Beattie informed the county’s highest prosecuting official that he, as foreman of the grand jury, would call the body together to consider the Conley [m]atter.

After the conference Solicitor Dorsey authorized one of the few statements which he has made since he took up the Phagan case. He said that he told Mr. Beattie that the move to indict Conley was […] should not be […]

“Its only purpose,” the solicitor said, “will be to exploit the evidence and embarrass the state, and I hope the grand jury when it meets will decide to leave the matter alone.

“The indictment of Conley at this time will be a useless procedure that will not stop the trial of Frank. It will only have a mild, but undesirable effect on the state’s case.

“Conley is in jail and is going to stay there for some time. He is where the authorities can put their hands on him, and he can be indicted much more properly after the Frank case has been disposed of than before, and by the delay there is no danger of a miscarriage of justice.”

It has long been known that the defense of Frank will be in a measure the prosecution of Conley, and naturally it is of importance to the defense to have the man it will accuse under a grand jury indictment.

AS THE MURDERER.

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Detectives Working to Discredit Mincey

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Friday, July 18, 1913

POLICE HALT GRILLING OF CONLEY

Detective Bent on Questioning Negro Is Barred From Cell by Chief Lanford.

With Pinkerton detectives taking the trail in search of W.H. Mincey, whose startling accusations against Jim Conley stirred the police department and won the negro another “sweating” from Solicitor Dorsey, the Mincey affidavit Friday became the storm center about which the prosecution and defense in the Frank case waged their battle.

Despite the degree of indifference with which the detectives and prosecuting officials affected to look upon the remarkable statements of Mincey, it became known Friday that every effort was being bent toward locating him and turning the light on his past history.

Pinkertons Have Clew.

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Many Rumors Afloat Regarding Grand Jury

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Friday, July 18, 1913

Among These Is One That Effort Will Be Made to Indict Conley.

That the grand jury would meet possibly today or tomorrow and take steps toward indicting James Conley, the negro sweeper of the National Pencil factory, was a persistent rumor in circulation Thursday. From Foreman W.D. Beattie came the statement that he had not called for a meeting of the grand jury and that as far as he knew there would be no such action taken. Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey also declared that he had issued no call for the grand jury and knew nothing of any such action.

“I have not issued a call for a meeting,” explained Mr. Beattie, “and as far as I am concerned the grand jury will not take steps to indict Conley. Of course, the members of the grand jury have the right to come together and to take any steps they may desire, and I am speaking only for myself in saying that no steps will be taken to start an investigation of Conley’s alleged connection.”

“There is nothing new in the Mary Phagan murder case, as far as I know,” said the solicitor, “and I have issued no call for the grand jury. The state is continuing its work and will be ready on July 28 for the trial of Leo M. Frank.”

Attorneys Reuben R. Arnold and Luther Z. Rosser held a consultation Thursday afternoon in Mr. Arnold’s office at which they discussed the phases of their case, according to Mr. Arnold. At the courthouse it was said that Judge L.S. Roan, who is due to preside over the Frank trial, was in consultation with lawyers on both sides and that there was a possibility of the case being postponed.

Both Solicitor Dowrsey [sic] and Attorney Arnold denied this, and Attorney Arnold stated that the only consultation was that between him and Mr. Rosser.

* * *

The Atlanta Constitution, July 18th 1913, “Many Rumors Afloat Regarding Grand Jury,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Effort Being Made to Indict Negro Conley

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

The Atlanta Journal

Thursday, July 17, 1913

Foreman Beattie of Grand Jury, However, Says He Knows of No Such Move

W.D. Beattie, foreman of the grand jury, declares that “so far as he knows” there is no intention on the part of the grand jury to consider an indictment of Jim Conley, the negro sweeper, who figures so prominently in the Phagan murder mystery.

The Journal has learned, however, on excellent authority, that a determined effort is being made to have the Conley case passed upon by the present grand jury. Whether the effort will or will not be futile is a matter of conjecture.

Foreman Beattie states that no meeting of the jury is expected during the present week, but that the body will probably be called together early next week to consider matters of a routine nature.

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey is said to be making every effort to block the proposed indictment of Conley, who will be used as the principal witness against Leo M. Frank when he faces a jury probably a week from next Monday.

The present grand jury has not been called together since its organization several weeks ago, but it is known that a number of its members think that despite the attitude of the solicitor, a meeting should be called, and the evidence against Conley, including the confessions of complicity, submitted for the jury’s consideration.

It is said that the indictment of Conley as a principal would seriously injure the state’s case against Frank, and Solicitor Dorsey is naturally opposing every move in that direction.

CERTAIN TO CONSIDER CASE.

The present grand jury was organized early in July, but since the organization meting [sic] its members have never ben [sic] called together. In the past the majority of grand juries have met weekly.

Further still it is known that the present grand jury will hold no meeting unless the call originates with the members, and if it does it is practically certain that the Conley matter will be considered.

Should the grand jury meet and indict the negro sweeper over the direct and vigorous protest of the solicitor, it will break a long established precedent in the county. While the grand jury has full authority, without even consulting the solicitor, to call a meeting and indict the negro, the solicitor general’s wishes in regard to criminal cases have been respected in the past.

However, there is said to be such a sentiment in the grand jury that its members should consider the Conley case that the calling of a special meeting for that purpose is a strong probability.

SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE.

A very significant point, showing the solicitor’s attitude is the fact that he has not called a meeting of the jury and is not expected to call one until after the Frank case has been called for trial.

Following the trial of the Frank case, the indictment of Conley either as an accessory or as a principal is certain. After the Frank trial the solicitor himself will present the case against the negro to the grand jury.

There is no question about the fact that there is now sufficient evidence against Conley for the grand jury to indict him. It can be shown that he was in the factory on the day Mary Phagan was killed, and his admissions of complicity to the detectives and his alleged admission of the crime to W.H. Mincey would be sufficient to warrant a bill.

* * *

The Atlanta Journal, July 17th 1913, “Effort Being Made to Indict Negro Conley,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Dorsey Blocked Indictment of Conley

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, July 17, 1913

*Editor’s Note: This article ran in other editions of the Georgian with slight variations in the headline.

GRAND JURY AGREED NOT TO ACT

Solicitor Bitterly Opposes Plan of New Body to Reconsider Slaying Case.

That the most strenuous opposition of Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey was all that prevented the last Grand Jury from reopening its investigation of the Phagan mystery with a view of indicting the negro Jim Conley became known Thursday.

It was admitted by persons acquainted with the events in the Grand Jury room that the Solicitor’s determined stand only blocked a consideration of the negro’s connection with the crime. Well-substantiated report also has it that Solicitor Dorsey before he would venture on his vacation took the precaution of insisting on some sort of a guarantee from the jurors that they would take no action in his absence.

Acceding to his request, the Grand Jury of that time passed resolutions pledging itself to waive all consideration of the Phagan mystery until the Solicitor’s return.

Hot Fight Certain.

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