Slaying Charge for Conley Is Expected

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Friday, July 11, 1913

Speedy Indictment of Negro Is Likely Following Publication of Mincey Affidavit.

The speedy indictment of Jim Conley on the charge of murdering Mary Phagan was the strong possibility discussed in court circles Friday following the sensational turn given the strangling mystery by The Georgian’s publication Thursday of the accusation of William H. Mincey, an insurance solicitor, that he had heard the negro boast on the afternoon of the crime of killing a girl.

For nearly two months a self-confessed accessory after the fact of the murder of the little factory girl, Conley has been allowed to go without an attempt at bringing an indictment against him. The startling new evidence which indicates most strongly, if the credibility of the defense’s witness can be established, that Conley was not the accessory after the fact, but the actual principal in the crime, is expected to result in a thorough investigation by the Grand Jury of all the rumors and stories which have been in circulation of the negro’s connection with the pencil factory tragedy.

Counsel Relies on Mincey.

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No Finger Prints Found by Expert on Phagan Envelope

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

The Atlanta Journal

Thursday, July 10, 1913

Examination of Portion of Slain Girl’s Pay Envelope Fails to Throw Any Light on the Murder Mystery

FLETCHER, AT FEDERAL PEN MAKES EXAMINATION

Fight for Release of Newt Lee on Habeas Corpus Resumed and Hearing Will Be Given Saturday Morning

That the murderer of Mary Phagan can never be identified by finger prints on the pay envelope found in the factory, and the “re-setting” of Newt Lee’s habeas corpus for 10 o’clock. Saturday morning, were two important developments of the sensational murder mystery Thursday.

According to Attorney Bernard L. Chappell, of Graham & Chappell, counsel for the negro night watchman, fifty witnesses among them the negro James Conley, confessed accomplice, and Leo M. Frank, accused of the crime, will be subpenaed for the habeas corpus hearing.

It is known that the solicitor general, Hugh M. Dorsey, will oppose the release from the Tower of Lee on the ground that he is a material witness.

Counsel for Frank will take no part in the fight to secure the release of Lee, but Attorney Reuben R. Arnold stated when the case was postponed that he would oppose any effort to bring Frank into the court for the habeas corpus hearing.

It is said that the counsel for Frank will oppose bringing him to the court on the ground that it is not lawful to force a defendant to give any testimony which relates to or bears on the crime for which he is to be tried.

This, as a result, will prevent the much talked of meeting of Frank and Conley.

According to the attorney for Lee, subpenas will be issued to the many detectives who have worked on the case, to the solicitor general and to the foreman of the grand jury that failed to indict Lee.

EXAMINED BY EXPERTS.

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Mary Phagan Pay Envelope Found

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

The Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, July 9, 1913

MYSTERY’S LOST LINK IS FOUND NEAR WHERE CONLEY SAYS HE SAT

Finding of Portion of Salary Envelope Bearing Victim’s Name Expected to Strengthen Defense’s Contention

CONTENTS OF ENVELOPE HAVE NEVER BEEN FOUND

Find Was Made by Pinkertons Just Three Weeks After the Murder, but Was Kept a Secret Until Wednesday.

The pay envelope, which was the quest of Mary Phagan’s visit to the National Pencil factory on April 26, when she met her death, has been found.

At least enough of the envelope to definitely identify it is in the hands of the authorities.

The upper corner of the pay envelope, bearing the name of the victim of the sensational murder mystery, was found on the first floor of the factory by Pinkerton detectives three weeks after the commission of the crime.

While attorneys for the defense and the prosecution have known of the find for weeks, the fact only became public Wednesday.

The corner of the pay envelope was found on the first floor of the factory, behind a radiator, about 15 feet from the stairway and about 8 feet from the place, where James Conley, the negro sweeper, says he sat for more than an hour on the day of the tragedy.

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Girl Springs Sensation in Phagan Case

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, July 9, 1913

PART OF PAY ENVELOPE FOUND

Discovered Shortly After Tragedy by Detectives, but Find Was Kept Secret.

*Editor’s Note: The following headlines also appeared:

(Night Edition):

NEW PHAGAN EVIDENCE FOUND

PART OF PAY ENVELOPE HELD BY POLICE

(Extra Final Edition):

PHAGAN PAY ENVELOPE FOUND

Two sensational developments marked the Phagan case Wednesday. One was the testimony of Miss Mattie Smith, an employee of the National Pencil factory, that she had seen a negro sitting on the first floor of the factory betwen [sic] 9 and 10 o’clock, at a time when Conley had denied being there. The second was the announcement of the finding of a part of a pay envelope declared to be the envelope of Mary Phagan.

A piece of an envelope bearing Mary Phagan’s number was found on the first floor of the National Pencil factory behind a radiator, only a few feet from where Jim Conley, negro sweeper at the plant, was sitting on the day the little factory girl was murdered, according to information made public Wednesday afternoon.

Robbery Again Suspected.

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Attitude of Defense Secret

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 8, 1913

Attorneys for Accused Man Can Keep Him From Facing Accuser if They Wish.

That Leo M. Frank, superintendent of the National Pencil Factory, and James Conley, Frank’s accuser in the Mary Phagan murder mystery, would be brought face to face Tuesday was the strong possibility presented by the contemplated application for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of Newt Lee, negro night watchman at the factory.

The plan of bringing Conley and Frank together may meet an insurmountable obstacle when it comes to getting the permission of Frank’s attorneys. The law allows an indicted man to testify or to refuse to testify. Frank has been willing to appear as a witness at any time, but he has placed himself under the instructions of his lawyers and the matter is entirely in their hands.

Arnold is Non-commital.

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State Sure Lee Will Not Be Released

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 8, 1913

Dorsey Confident That Move, Which May Confront Frank With Conley, Is Futile.

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey said Tuesday he was confident the State would be able to defeat any attempt to get Newt Lee out of the Tower, where he has been confined since April 27, first as a suspect in the Mary Phagan murder case and later as a material witness. He said he had advised Lee’s attorney not to take the action, as the negro was regarded as an important witness in making a complete chain of evidence against Leo M. Frank.

No petition was filed in behalf of the negro Tuesday forenoon. There was no judge before whom the petition could be brought in the afternoon, although in rare instances writs of habeas corpus are filed with the Ordinary of the county. Lee’s counsel has until Friday to file the application. It was the announced intention to subpena both Frank and Jim Conley to appear at the hearing on the write [sic].

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Grants Right to Demand Lee’s Freedom

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 8, 1913

Negro’s Counsel Secures Chance to Argue for Habeas Corpus Writ Wednesday.

Reuben R. Arnold, of counsel for Leo M. Frank, communicated with Sheriff Mangum Tuesday afternoon directing him under no circumstances to permit the removal of Frank to appear Wednesday as a witness in the habeas corpus hearing to free Newt Lee.

“There is no law on earth to bring Frank to court under an order as a witness,” said Arnold. Attorney Rosser, chief of counsel, was absent from the city Tuesday.

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New Move in Phagan Case by Solicitor

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, July 6, 1913

Dorsey Will Endeavor to Force Defense to Disclose Their Documentary Evidence.

ACT IS COUNTERSTROKE

Frank’s Attorneys Said to Have Affidavits Exonerating Frank and Indicating Conley’s Guilt.

A sensational turn in the Phagan murder mystery, according to one of the attorneys for the defense, will develop next week when Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey issues a subpena duces tecum on Attorneys Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben Arnold, citing them to produce all the affidavits they have secured that bear on the crime.

The movement is in the nature of a counterstroke to block the pending subpenas duces tecum filed by the defense, citing the State to produce all the affidavits that have been secured.

The defense strongly maintains that it will win its point and that the prosecution will suffer. The attorneys say that the Constitution of the State clearly outlines the action of the court in such matters—”that the defendant is entitled to be faced with all the evidence against him”—while the prosecution will labor under the handicap that “a defendant is innocent until he is proven guilty.”

Dorsey Is Silent.

While no announcement would be made by Solicitor Dorsey relative to the contemplated subpenas duces tecum, it was intimated by him that such action might be taken at an early date, and that when it was the defense and the prosecution would lock horns in the first decisive battle in the sensational case.

Affidavits that are sought by the defense are the three different sworn statements of the negro, Jim Conley, the affidavit given by the negro cook at the Frank home, Minola McKnight, the Formby affidavit and the affidavit of Monteen Stover, the girl who stated that she entered Frank’s office at a time when he said he was there, and found the office deserted.

The State will seek to obtain affidavits contradicting their theory and placing the crime on the negro sweeper, Jim Conley. These affidavits are said to deal principally with the time different witnesses entered and left the factory April 26, the most vital question in the trial.

Affidavits of Defense.

The defense is said to be in possession of affidavits that show Monteen Stover entered and departed from the factory before Mary Phagan’s car reached the heart of the city; that the negro Jim Conley entered the factory earlier in the day than he said he did, and that he, instead of the indicted pencil factory superintendent, committed the murder, because the superintendent left the factory at least ten minutes before Conley said he helped him dispose of the body, and that the Formby affidavit, a one-time sensational bit of evidence substantiating the defense, was given by the woman at the behest of the police detectives without regard for its accuracy, and that Mrs. Formby has since admitted that she never knew Leo M. Frank or heard of him until he was held as a suspect in connection with the murder.

* * *

The Atlanta Georgian, July 6th 1913, “New Move in Phagan Case by Solicitor,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Phagan Case Centers on Conley; Negro Lone Hope of Both Sides

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, July 6, 1913

*Editor’s Note: See insert article, “Decisions Which May Aid Defense of Frank”, at the conclusion of this post.

Frank Expects Freedom by Breaking Down Accuser’s Testimony, and State a Conviction by Establishing Truth of Statements.

BY AN OLD POLICE REPORTER.

The developments in the Phagan case have been of late highly significant and interesting.

During the past week, it became evident that the very heart and soul of both the prosecution and the defense is to center largely about the negro, James Conley.

He is at once apparently the hope and the despair of both sides to the contest!

This circumstance, however, while tending to add much to the dramatic and the uncertain, in so far as the outcome is concerned, is not by any means an unusual thing in cases of this kind.

It frequently happens in mysterious murder cases that both the State and the defense must pin their faith to one and the same witness.

Of late there has been some talk of the Grand Jury indicting Conley, even over the Solicitor General’s head, which, of course, it would have a perfect right to do.

The thought occurred to me some time ago that the case might take that direction, but in the article in which that point was discussed, I mentioned it incidentally, rather than as a likely thing.

Indictment may Mean Much.

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Writ Sought In Move to Free Negro Lee

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, July 3, 1913

Attorney for Watchman Declares Client Knows Nothing of the Actual Crime.

Bernard L. Chappell, attorney for Newt Lee, negro night watchman at the pencile [sic] factory, held in the Phagan case, stated Thursday morning that he would swear out a writ of habeas corpus for the release of the negro.

Attorney Chappell stated that he had come to the conclusion that there was nothing the negro knew about the crime except finding the body, and that the State had no right to keep him without some charge or as a material witness.

Lee was the first suspect arrested in connection with Mary Phagan’s murder. He was ordered held by the Coroner, but when a bill of indictment was offered the Grand Jury at the same time of the Frank indictment, no action was taken against the negro.

Weak Spots in Conley Tale.

Chappell said the writ of habeas corpus would compel the State either to order the negro held as a material witness or make some charge against him.

Conley, in relating his dramatic tale of carrying the body of Mary Phagan from the rear of the second floor and disposing of it at the direction of Frank in a dark corner of the gloomy basement, said that when he reached the elevator he had to wait until Frank went into his office for a key to the elevator door.

The defense will maintain, it is understood, that the elevator door had not been locked for some time. Witnesses will be called to testify that the door had remained unlocked in accordance with instructions from the firms with which the building was insured. From this alleged circumstance, it will be argued that the negro’s story is a fabrication devised to shield himself from the charge of murder and to shift the responsibility onto another man.

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New Audio Book: The American Mercury on Leo Frank – Arnold’s Closing Arguments, part 2

Reuben Arnold

REUBEN ARNOLD’S closing arguments (part 2) for the defense of Leo Frank — on the charge of murdering his sweatshop employee Mary Phagan — are our presentation this week in our new audio book series, read by Vanessa Neubauer.

This series encompasses the American Mercury’s coverage of the 1913 trial and conviction of Jewish sex killer Leo Frank — a case which was one of the inspirations for the establishment of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). We will be presenting the extensive arguments, both for the defense and the prosecution, in order and in full — a monumental, book-length project. Today we present the second section of the arguments for the defense, the words of one of the most skilled and formidable Georgia attorneys of his time, Mr. Reuben Arnold.

Mr. Arnold states in his speech:

This case has been made up of just two things — prejudice and perjury. I’ve never seen such malice, such personal hatred in all my life, and I don’t think anyone ever has. The crime itself is dreadful, too horrible to talk about, and God grant that the murderer may be found out, and I think he has. I think we can point to Jim Gonley and say there is the man. But, above all, gentlemen, let’s follow the law in this matter. In circumstantial cases you can’t convict a man as long as there’s any other possible theory for the crime of which he is accused, and you can’t find Frank guilty if there’s a chance that Conley is the murderer. The state has nothing on which to base their case but Conley, and we’ve shown Conley a liar. Write your verdict of not guilty and your consciences will give your approval.

You can follow along with the original text here.

Mr. Arnold also makes a case for Frank — had he been guilty — having no need, except pure honesty, for admitting he ever saw Mary Phagan on that fatal day; adding that “hatred against his [Frank’s] race” was the real reason for Frank’s indictment. He also tries his best to convince the jury that Jim Conley was the real murderer, and a “lustful animal” — one of a thousand Black men in Atlanta “who would assault a white woman if they had the chance.”

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New Audio Book: The American Mercury on Leo Frank – Arnold’s Closing Arguments, part 1

REUBEN ARNOLD’S closing arguments (part 1) for the defense of Leo Frank — on the charge of murdering his sweatshop employee Mary Phagan — are our presentation this week in our new audio book series, read by Vanessa Neubauer.

This series encompasses the American Mercury’s coverage of the 1913 trial and conviction of Jewish sex killer Leo Frank — a case which was one of the inspirations for the establishment of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). We will be presenting the extensive arguments, both for the defense and the prosecution, in order and in full — a monumental, book-length project. Today we present the first section of the arguments for the defense, the words of one of the most skilled and formidable Georgia attorneys of his time, Mr. Reuben Arnold.

Mr. Arnold states in his speech:

I’ll tell you right now, if Frank hadn’t been a Jew there would never have been any prosecution against him.

I’m asking my own people to turn him loose, asking them to do justice to a Jew, and I’m not a Jew, but I would rather die before doing injustice to a Jew. This case has just been built up by degrees; they have a monstrous perjurer here in the form of this Jim Conley against Frank. You know what sort of a man Conley is, and you know that up to the time the murder was committed no one ever heard a word against Frank.

You can follow along with the original text here.

Mr. Arnold also denigrates the character of the witnesses who themselves called into question the character of Leo Frank and his behavior towards some of his women and young girl employees.

Continue Reading →

Frank Is Willing for State to Grill Him

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 1, 1913

Accused Man Declares He’s Anxious Even for Prosecution to Cross-Examine.

Surpassing in interest any of the other testimony at the trial of Leo M. Frank will be the story related on the stand by the accused man himself. That Frank will make a detailed statement of his movements on the day that Mary Phagan was murdered is regarded as one of the certainties of the trial.

It was learned Wednesday that Frank was desirous of going even further than this by being sworn and submitting to a cross-examination by the attorneys for the prosecution. He will request his lawyers, Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold, that the privilege of cross-examination be extended the State.

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Brilliant Legal Battle Is Sure as Hooper And Arnold Clash in Trial of Leo Frank

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, June 29, 1913

[BRILLIANT BATTLE SURE IN FRANK TRIAL IN CLASH OF HOOPER AND ARNOLD]*

[Order Has at Last Been Rested and Indications Are That Struggle of Attorneys Will Be Waged in the Most Ethical Manner.]

* Alternate headline from another page is shown in brackets above.

By An Old Police Reporter.

As deplorable as the Phagan case is in all its melancholy details, it already is evident enough that there will come of it eventually much that the community may be thankful for.

In the first place, Atlanta and Georgia, and incidentally the entire South will have learned a good lesson in law and order, justice and fair play, and to that extent may be the better prepared for the next case of the kind that comes to their attention.

In the second place, there will be in the future no such wretched bungling and frenzied appeal in and from police headquarters, as for a time marked the Phagan case unique among its kind.

It looks now as if the decks have been pretty well cleared for action and that Leo Frank’s trial may be expected to proceed in dignity and order, and that in its final analysis the truth of Mary Phagan’s murder may be established, at least to the extent of Frank’s real or suspected participation therein.

If Frank should be convicted, that would mean the subsequent indictment and conviction of the negro Conley, as an accessory after the fact.

Continue Reading →

Conley Tale Is Hope of Defense

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, June 30, 1913

DEFENSE PLANS TO TEAR DOWN CONLEY TALE*

* This headline appeared on Page 3 of the Georgian.

Expect to Prove Frank Innocent By Discrediting Negro’s Story Of Phagan Crime.

Warned that the State is basing practically all of its expectations of sending Leo M. Frank to the gallows on the dramatic story told by Jim Conley, the defense this week is completing the collection of a strong line of evidence with which it is planned utterly to discredit the negro’s statements and his testimony in court.

Conley again has insisted on confronting Frank. He says he is certain if he can meet the factory superintendent face to face he can make him “tell the whole story.” The negro has told the detectives he not only is willing, but is eager to repeat in the presence of Frank the story of the disposal of Mary Phagan’s body just as he has related it a dozen times since he first made the sensational acknowledgment that he had a part in the crime.

It is regarded as most unlikely that the two will be brought together. Luther Z. Rosser, attorney for Frank, has refused to make any definite statement of his attitude in the matter, but it is known he looks with suspicion on every word and every act of the negro. He has given the impression that he is not unwilling for his client to face the negro, but that he regards the court room as the proper place for the meeting and the actual trial of Frank as the proper time. For this reason, the dramatic moment when accuser and accused confront each other in all probability will be saved for the time when the legal battle is in progress for Frank’s life.

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Call of Cool Sea Breezes and Promise of Judge to His Wife, Secrets of Frank Trial Delay

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

The Atlanta Journal

Thursday, June 26, 1913

There Are Many Little Reasons, of Course, but the Biggest of These Is the Simplest—Judge Roan Just Had to Keep Promise to His Charming Wife—And Nobody’s Kicking, Either

The trial of Leo M. Frank, which is expected to be the most brilliant legal battle in the history of the state, has been postponed for a month.

There are many little reasons why the trial could not come up on June 30.

And, then, there is one great big reason.

The biggest reason, when analyzed, is also the simplest, as are most big things.

The big reason is the simple fact that Mrs. Judge L. S. Roan wants to go to the seashore early in July.

Of course Mrs. Roan might go to the seashore by herself with any of her many friends, but she wants her husband to make the trip with her, and long before the Phagan case developed Mrs. Roan had secured Judge Roan’s promise to take the trip with her.

When the judge called Solicitor Hugh Dorsey, Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold before him Tuesday afternoon and told them that it would be best to agree upon a definite date for the trial of Mr. Frank, they looked a little puzzled for the moment.

Solicitor Dorsey appeared not to want a postponement, and flatly said so. In fact, he argued every time he got a chance, trying to get an early date, and finally asked the court if he wouldn’t set the case for the week of July 7.

EVERYBODY WAS PLEASED.

Then the court explained, and after he had explained a quick smile of complete understanding passed over the court room. Mr. Rosser smiled first, then Mr. Arnold, and finally Solicitor Dorsey.

Said the court with the usual dignity:

“Well, gentlemen, another reason is that some months ago I promised my wife that I would take her to the seashore on the week of July 4 and spend some days there with her.

“Of course, if there is any good reason why this trial should be taken up early in the month, if it will be impossible for you to reach it later, I can send Mrs. Roan with friends and remain here.”

The judge’s statement was made in the nature of a question, but it brought forth no answer. Continue Reading →

Trial of Leo Frank Postponed by Judge

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Wednesday, June 25, 1913

Date of Trial Changed From June 30 Until July 28 at Plea of Attorneys for Defense.

The first appearance in open court of the indictment against Leo M. Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan came yesterday afternoon when Judge L. S. Roan, presiding over the criminal division of superior court, summoned attorneys for both sides, and after a hearing changed the date of trial from June 30, as set by Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey, to July 28.

This and the legal move by the defense in serving upon Solicitor Dorsey, Police Chief James L. Beavers, Detective Chief Newport Lanford and other detectives and officials for the state, with formal subpoenas duces tecum, commanding them to bring to court all affidavits they may have which bear upon the state’s case against Frank, were the only changes in the present situation.

Judge Roan also decided that the trial of Frank would be held not in the regular room in which he holds his division of court, but in one of the rooms in which the civil division of the superior court sits.

Where Trial Will be Held.

This was done, the judge explained, because the ceiling is very low in the courtroom in the Thrower building, where his court regularly sits, and the room is ventilated by windows only on one side. The trial will be held, according to present plans, in one of the courtrooms in the old city hall, corner South Pryor and East Hunter streets, where the ceilings are higher and windows can be thrown open on both sides of the room to allow ventilation. Continue Reading →

Both Sides Are Ready for Trial of Frank

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

The Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, June 25, 1913

Few Developments Expected Between Now and July 28, Conley Is Grilled

The statements made by Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey and by Reuben R. Arnold and Luther Z. Rosser, the counsel for the defense before the postponement of the trial of Leo M. Frank from June 30, the date set by the solicitor, to July 28, indicate very strongly that neither side expects further developments of importance in the investigation.

Mr. Dorsey told the court that his case was complete and that he was ready for trial. All of the statements by Attorneys Arnold and Rosser indicate that they also have completed the preparation of the defense and are ready for the court fight.

One of the most interesting of the statements made by counsel was that of Mr. Arnold, who said that it would take two weeks to try the case, showing that the defense will have many witnesses, and will come to court prepared to fight every inch in the case.

The action of the defense in demanding through subpoenas duces tecum practically all of the affidavits of importance which have been made the detectives during the Phagan investigation seems to bear out the theory published in The Journal that the defense will consist of the corroboration of Frank’s story as told at the inquest by a number of witnesses, and of an effort to establish, largely by the detectives themselves, the thory [sic] that the negro James Conley is guilty of the crime with which Frank is charged.

It is certain that Conley’s story will be attacked through his many varying affidavits, and much evidence to assist Frank will be brought out through the city detectives, who charge him with the crime.

The substance of all of the affidavits demanded by the defense is known. Conley’s varying affidavits have long formed one of the sensations of the case. Miss Grace Hix, it will be remembered, identified Mary Phagan’s body, while Miss Monteen Stover declares that she came to the pencial [sic] factory of the date of the tragedy at 12:05 o’clock and found no one in the office, not even Frank, who had testified that he was there at that hour. Continue Reading →

Both Sides Called in Conference by Judge; Trial Set for July 28

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, June 24, 1913

Dorsey, Beavers and Lanford Summoned to Appear June 30 With All Affidavits They Have Secured Relative to the Phagan Slaying Case.

Just before the conference with both sides in the Frank case started Judge Roan intimated strongly that he would set the case for July 14 or July 28 and hold it in some more commodious court room than the one in which he sits on the fourth floor of the Thrower building. Judge Roan’s personal inclination leans to a date in July, and it is not likely that the State or defense will object to acceding to his wishes.

The date was definitely fixed for July 28 at the conference.

The first important legal move by the defense in the battle for the life and freedom of Leo Frank, accused of the strangling of Mary Phagan, was made Tuesday in the issuance of subpenas duces tecum for the prime movers in the prosecution of the factory superintendent.

The following have been subpenaed to appear:

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey, who will prosecute the prisoner.

Chief of Police James L. Beavers, who was the leader in obtaining incriminating affidavits.

Pinkerton Detective Harry Scott, to whom is generally given credit for the admissions gained from Conley.

All other city detectives who have worked on the case.

All of them are ordered to produce any affidavits they may have bearing on the case in court June 30, indicating that the defense will be prepared to go on with the trial at that time.

Judge Roan, however, had called a conference of the attorneys on both sides of the case for 2 o’clock in the afternoon, when he announced that he would set the date definitely after the attorneys had been given an opportunity to say whether or not their cases would be in shape to present if the trial were called the last of this month.

Plan to Use Same Evidence.

The startling move on the part of the defense was taken to mean that Frank’s lawyers propose to use to free their client the very evidence the detectives and Solicitor General have collected to send him to the gallows.

The most significant demand is made upon Chief Beavers, who is commanded to bring into court the famed series of affidavits made by the negro sweeper, Jim Conley. It is evident that Attorneys Rosser and Arnold, who are conducting the defense, intend to tear the contradictory stories of the negro to tatters and make his statements so utterly ridiculous and improbable that the jury not only will refuse to accept them, but will interpret them as an effort of Conley to get from under the blame for a crime that he committed himself. Continue Reading →

Frank’s Trial Set For Next Monday

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Tuesday, June 24, 1913

Indications Are Case Will Begin on That Day—Jury Panel Not Yet Drawn by Judge Roan.

The trial of Leo M Frank, superintendent of the National Pencil Factory, now under indictment for the murder of Mary Phagan on April 26 in the factory, has been definitely set for next Monday. This was the announcement of Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey last night after he had been working upon the court calendar for the coming week.

Solicitor Dorsey announced Sunday upon his arrival from New York city where he had spent the past two weeks that he intended to set the case for that date unless something unforeseen should come up. While he did not complete his calendar on Monday, he reached the Frank case and placed it definitely upon the docket.

The defense has indicated that it is ready to go [to] trial and it appears now that the case will actually be taken up on that day. Should it be postponed, it will be after a showing has been made in open court and a postponement granted by Judge L. S. Roan presiding in the criminal division of the superior court where Frank’s fate will be decided.

Panel Not Yet Drawn

The panel of venireman from which the jury to try Frank will be selected is expected to be drawn some time today or Wednesday. This is the duty of Judge Roan. It was rumored that the panel would be drawn from the jury list Monday afternoon, but this was not done. The list of prospective jurymen will not be made public after the drawing and only after their names are called when the trial has started and the task of picking the jury is begun will it be officially known who are the men who compose it.

It is expected that a special venire will be drawn containing the names of about 150 citizens as it is expected that many names will be stricken off the list before lawyers for the state and the defense are finally satisfied. Continue Reading →