Strangulation Charge is in Indictments

by Archivist on July 26, 2016

Strangulation Charge

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

Atlanta Georgian

Saturday, May 24th, 1913

True Bills Already Drawn by Solicitor Against Frank and Lee.

The Grand Jury resumed Saturday morning the Phagan murder case with indictments against Leo M. Frank and Newt Lee charging strangulation.

While nothing definite could be learned, it was confidently expected at the office of the Solicitor Saturday morning the case of Frank might be completed during the day. Only a few more witnesses were to be called. It was learned, and these could tell what they knew in a few hours.

The indictments are the first of the kind to have been drawn in Fulton County in the recollection of the oldest court officials, and for this reason the exact verbiage is being kept secret. Fearing that if the indictments are not drawn in strict conformity to law, there would of course be some question of their validity, and there being so little law on this particular form of indictment, the Solicitor would not make public the phrasing of the bill until his assistant could find some precedent in the Supreme Court records.

It became known Saturday that none of the “star” witnesses for the State would go before the Grand Jury unless at the last moment the Solicitor thought it would be necessary to introduce them to secure the bill. Those who testified Friday were the detectives who appeared before the Coroner, and similar witnesses are awaiting their turn to be called upon Saturday.

The city detectives are the principal witnesses. From their investigation and examination of witnesses they are telling the Grand Jury everything they have found out. The Solicitor was confident this form of introducing evidence would not only greatly expedite matters, but would present the case in a more concise form.

Chief of Detectives Lanford said that he could prove Frank was not at his home the evening of the murder at the hours he said he was.

“I can prove that Frank was not at his home during the hours on Saturday night, the night of the murder, that he said he was. I will have witnesses to swear to this,” was his statement.

The chief added that he had a great amount of other important evidence that has been more carefully guarded than some that had found its way into the papers.

Frank’s statement at the Coroner’s inquest was that he reached his home shortly after 7 o’clock the evening of Saturday, April 26, and did not leave it until the following morning. The testimony of his mother-in-law and father-in-law substantiated his evidence. They said that while they were engaged in a card game Frank was in the next room reading a magazine.

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Atlanta Georgian, May 24th 1913, “Strangulation Charge is in Indictments,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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