Newt Lee Will Give Convicting Evidence Attorney Indicates

by Archivist on July 25, 2016

Newt Lee WillAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Saturday, May 24th, 1913

Bernard L. Chappell, Lawyer for Negro Suspect, Declares His Client’s Testimony to Be Invaluable to the Case

Bernard L. Chappell, attorney for Newt Lee, the negro night watchman held as a suspect in connection with the murder of Mary Phagan, gave The Journal a statement Saturday indicating that his client will give practically convicting evidence as to the identity of the murderer.

“I consider his testimony the strongest known to the public against the guilty party,” said Mr. Chappell. “Before I would see him released and give the guilty party a chance to get his hands on Lee, I, his attorney, would swear out a warrant to hold him for the murder of Mary Phagan.”

It is to be presumed from the tone of Mr. Chappell’s card that Lee has given his attorney information yet withheld from the detectives. Mr. Chappell’s card to The Journal follows in full:

“To The Journal: I represent Newt Lee, the Phagan suspect. I wish to state that anyone who says that Newt Lee, the negro suspect in the Mary Phagan case, should be set free, is wrong, and before I would see him released and give the guilty part of this, the deepest and foulest murder ever committed in our state, a chance to get his hands on Lee, I, his attorney, would swear out a warrant to hold him for the murder of Mary Phagan.

“I consider his testimony the strongest known to the public against the guilty party. I want the public to know that it is my desire that the state’s custodian, our sheriff, C. W. Mangum, must hold my client, Newt Lee, to help avenge the murder of the little Mary Phagan girl whose blood cries to the Creator of us all.

“(Signed)

“BERNARD L. CHAPPELL.

“Attorney for Newt Lee.”

* * *

Atlanta Journal, May 24th 1913, “Newt Lee Will Give Convicting Evidence Attorney Indicates,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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