Venire of 72 for Frank Jury Is Drawn

by Curator on July 1, 2017

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, June 23, 1913

Negro Conley Sticks to Affidavit Story When Again Cross-Examined by Dorsey.

The first official action of the court in preparing for the trial of Leo M. Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan was taken Monday afternoon when Judge L. S. Roan impaneled 72 men, from whom a jury to hear the case will be sought.

June 30 was agreed to by Judge Roan for the opening of the case. If a postponement is desired it will now have to be asked for in open court.

As yet Judge Roan said he had received no intimation from the defense that a delay was wanted. Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey said Monday the prosecution was ready for trial.

Trial in Thrower Building.

An extra staff of deputies has been sworn in and subpenas to jurymen impaneled and witnesses are now being served.

No plans for a larger room in which to hear the case have matured, and it is likely that the courtroom of the Superior Court in the Thrower Building will be used at last, despite its size and lack of comfort.

Jim Conley, the negro sweeper, was brought before Solicitor Dorsey Monday morning for another cross-examination. The questions were solely along the lines of the negro’s affidavit charging Frank with the crime. As the Solicitor later said, he had only refreshed Conley’s mind on the points he had made in his statement. The negro told the same story he told before without deviation.

Mr. Dorsey said that he would call all of the principal witnesses for the State and refresh their minds on the part they will play in the trial.

W. J. [sic] Coleman, stepfather of the strangled girl, was summoned by the Solicitor after Conley had been questioned for some time and was brought before the negro. Strict secrecy surrounded the performance, and if anything was gained by confronting the sweeper with Coleman it was not divulged. Mary Phagan’s grandfather accompanied Coleman.

Later Coleman said that he had called particularly to ask the Solicitor if Judge Newt Morris, formerly of the Blue Ridge Circuit, could be brought into the case. Mr. Dorsey informed him that the State had made all arrangements for handling the case, but that if he wanted to have the former Judge represent the family there would be no objection.

Attorney Reuben Arnold, for Frank, announced Monday morning that the defense’s case was complete. Mr. Arnold said that the testimony of twelve witnesses would form the bulk of Frank’s support. He declared that only the inability of one or more of these witnesses to appear at the time set for the trial would cause the defense to ask for a postponement.

Monteen Stover, the young girl who called at the pencil factory office between noon and 12:15 o’clock on the afternoon of the murder, was taken before Jim Conley at the police station Sunday and identified by the negro as the girl he had seen while hiding at the foot of the stairway waiting for Frank’s signal.

Conley Identifies Girl.

Detectives went out to the Stover girl’s home at 171 South Forsyth Street late in the afternoon and asked that she dress as she had on the afternoon of the murder and go to the police station with them.

The girl put on a small yellow hat with a red ribbon about it, enveloped her body in a yellow raincoat and[…]

Continued on Page 2, Column 5.

VENIRE IS DRAWN FOR TRIAL OF LEO M. FRANK

Prosecution and Defense Both Announce They Are Ready—To Start in Fortnight.

Continued From Page 1.

[…]taking an umbrella went with the detectives.

At the police station Conley was waiting in the reception room.

As soon as the Stover girl entered the room he jumped to his feet, exclaiming:

“That’s her, that’s her.” Then the negro surveyed her wearing apparel.

“She’s dressed just as she was that day, only she hasn’t got on her ‘easy walkers.’

The girl was wearing leather slippers. Later she said she had worn “easy walkers,” or tennis shoes, when she went to the pencil factory, as the negro had said.

The negro’s identification of the Stover girl proves, apparently, beyond a doubt that he was in the factory building at the time he said in his affidavit. Beyond sustaining that statement, though, no further support to the prosecution’s case against Frank is shown by it.

Solicitor Dorsey returned to Atlanta Sunday afternoon from a week’s vacation in New York. He called a conference with his assistants, E. A. Stephens and F. A. Hooper, at his home Sunday evening. Following it he announced that he would be ready for trial on June 30 and that unless the defense or the trial judge moved to have the trial postponed he would commence at once summoning witnesses and getting ready.

Solicitor Dorsey would not discuss the return to Atlanta of Mrs. Mina [sic] Formby and her announcement that she would go on the stand against Frank. He intimated, however, that he entertained the same opinion as had already been expressed by his assistant, Mr. Hooper, that when the woman left Atlanta she dropped from the case entirely.

Attorney John W. Moore denied emphatically that he had been employed in the case with L. Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold to defend Frank, as was reported by Solicitor Dorsey.

Moore Not Employed.

“I have not been employed in the case and have no other interest in it than that of a citizen. I believe Frank is innocent, and have since he was first drawn into the case, but I am not connected with it in any way. I have never been approached on the subject.”

Solicitor Dorsey opened court in the Thrower building Monday morning for a week of criminal trials to clear the jail docket. He will be in court every day until Saturday, and will have to depend on his assistants to summon witnesses and prepare the Frank case in the event of it being set for the following week.

* * *

The Atlanta Georgian, June 23rd 1913, “Venire of 72 for Frank Jury Is Drawn,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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