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“No” Bill Is Returned Against A. S. Colyar

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 1, 1913

Grand Jury Declines to Indict Colyar for Reply to Attack of Colonel Felder

[…]charging A. S. Colyar, of Nashville, with libel, the Fulton county grand jury at its session on Tuesda ymorning [sic] refused to indict the Tennessean, returning a “no bill” in the case. Mr. Colyar has been in the limelight recently as a principal in the sensational dictograph episode, and has been engaged in a heated controversy with Colonel Thomas B. Felder.

The Tennessean was charged specifically with libelling Mr. Felder in a card published over his signature in The Journal of June 8, in which he excoriated the Atlanta lawyer.

The grand jury had the bill drawn of its own initiative, it is said, and considered it Tuesday morning. The only witness called before the grand jury was John Paschall, city editor of The Atlanta Journal.

In answer to questions of the grand jurors, Mr. Paschall stated that the card was furnished for publication by Mr. Colyar. Colyar has been given an opportunity to reply to an attack on his character, which Mr. Felder had embodied in a card, addressed to the editor of The Journal and which was published on the same day, the newspaper man told the jury in answer to further questions.

Attached to the bill, which was drawn against Mr. Colyar, was a copy of his card.

The grand jury was in session more than an hour considering the bill, before its decision not to return an indictment was reached.

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The Atlanta Georgian, July 1st 1913, “”No” Bill Is Returned Against A. S. Colyar,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Colyar Indicted as Libeler of Col. Felder

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 1, 1913

Grand Jury Develops Sensational Sequel to Famous Dictograph Scandal.

A. S. Colyar, Jr., dictographer of Colonel Thomas B. Felder, Mayor Woodward and C. C. Jones, was indicted by the Grand Jury on the charge of criminal libel Tuesday forenoon.

Colyar is the man who sought to trap Colonel Felder by means of the dictograph into offering a bribe of $1,000 for certain affidavits in the Phagan case in the possession of the police. The dictograph records as furnished an afternoon newspaper by Colyar contained the offer.

Colonel Felder swore the records were padded. Largely on Colonel Felder’s representations, the indictment was procured. John Pascal, of The Journal, was the only witness called by the Grand Jury in considering Colyar’s case.

Chief of Detectives Lanford and Colonel Felder, indicted last week by the Grand Jury, obtained their freedom by making a $500 bond. It was expected that the same bond would be imposed upon Colyar.

Much of the time Tuesday was occupied by members of the Grand Jury in probing into police affairs. Without calling any witnesses, the scandal which has shaken the department was given serious consideration for nearly two hours. The result of the discussion was not made public.

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The Atlanta Georgian, July 1st 1913, “Colyar Indicted as Libeler of Col. Felder,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Colyar Not Indicted On Charge of Libel

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 1, 1913

The Fulton County Grand Jury returned no bill against A. S. Colyar, Jr., Tuesday forenoon on the charge of criminal libel.  Colyar came into prominence a few weeks ago by dictographing Colonel Thomas B. Felder, Mayor Woodward and C. C. Jones in Williams House No. 2.

Colyar is the man who sought to trap Colonel Felder by means of the dictograph into offering a bribe of $1,000 for certain affidavits in the Phagan case in the possession of the police. The dictograph records as furnished an afternoon newspaper by Colyar contained the offer.

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The Atlanta Georgian, July 1st 1913, “Colyar Not Indicted On Charge of Libel,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Lanford and Felder Indicted for Libel

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Saturday, June 28, 1913

Indictments Grew Out of the Dictagraph Episode and the Letters Which Followed.

Formal investigation into the invectives hurled between Colonel Thomas B. Felder and Detective Chief Newport Lanford resulted yesterday in indictments of criminal libel being returned by the grand jury against each of them for their cards and interviews in the daily papers in which they attacked each other’s character, after the dictagraph row.

Colonel Felder is held under two indictments on a bond of $500, while Chief Lanford has one indictment against him, and is free on the same bond.

The offenses charged against each are misdemeanors, and the punishment, in case of conviction, is six months in the county jail, twelve months in the penitentiary or a fine of not more than $1,000. It is in the discretion of the judge to impose any or all of these penalties after conviction.

In order to come clear at the trial it will be necessary for the man indicted for criminal libel to prove that the charges he made were true, and it is expected that the cases will develop into the most bitterly fought in the history of the Fulton courts.

Felder Will Not Talk.

(more…)

Lanford and Felder Are Held for Libel

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Friday, June 27, 1913

Grand Jury Indicts Lawyer and Head of Detectives for Attacks on Each Other.

Three indictments charging criminal libel were returned Friday by the Grand Jury against Colonel Thomas B. Felder, the Atlanta attorney, and Newport Lanford, Chief of Detectives, who accused each other of most everything in the category after the famous dictograph episode. There are two bills against Felder and one against Lanford.

The two men will be placed under bond and will be tried in the Fulton County courts under the misdemeanor act for unlawfully and maliciously accusing each other, according to the true bills.

The penalty for conviction of a misdemeanor is six months in the county jail, twelve months in the penitentiary, a fine not exceeding $1,000, either or all three.

Colonel Felder appeared at the Solicitor’s office about 2 o’clock and furnished the $500 bond required. Chief Lanford had not been located at that time, but was expected to do likewise.

The accusation against both men is based on recriminations issued against each other and published in the Sunday newspapers of May 25 and June 8.

In those statements Colonel Felder attacked Lanford bitterly, hurling a line of invectives that the greatest of the Roman orators might have envied. He attacked Lanford’s private and public character, accusing him of “hideous crimes.”

Lanford in Full Denial.

(more…)

Grand Jury Will Probe Affidavits About Dictagraph

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

The Atlanta Constitution

June 12, 1913

Investigation of Charges and Counter Charges Will Begin at Early Date and Will Be Exhaustive One.

LANFORD SAYS GENTRY WILL DENY AFFIDAVIT

Affidavit Is Made Declaring Dictagraph Instrument Was Secured by Chief Lanford For Use in Phagan Case.

Following close on the heels of the publication of the George M. Gentry affidavit, in which the young stenographer states that his typewritten report of the dictagraph conversation was padded, and says that he left town after he had discovered that he had fallen in with a “crowd of crooks,” comes the assurance that the grand jury will at once make a searching probe of the detective department in an effort to establish the truth regarding the many charges and counter charges that have been afloat since the dictagraph sensation was sprung.

Members of the grand jury take the position that if the Gentry affidavit is true, it constitutes a stinging indictment of the detective department—an indictment which should not be allowed to stand longer than it will take to uncover the facts.

Records True, Says Lanford.

Chief of Detectives Lanford defends his department and his own personal connection with the sensation with the declaration that the dictagraph reports, as published, were absolutely correct, and that reports to the contrary are not only false, but will be proved untrue.

Impeiled by public sentiment the dictagraph incident created, it is authentically stated that the grand jury probe will be made at a very early date, and will be an exhaustive one.

While contradicted by Gentry’s affidavit and statements from the trio of dictagraph “victims”—Mayor Woodward, Colonel Felder and Charles Jones. G. C. Febuary, secretary to Chief Lanford, stoutly maintas that the dictagraph notes were accurate and that there were no discrepancies whatever in the published copies. (more…)

Asks Beavers to Investigate Affidavit

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, June 11, 1913

Chief of Detectives Newport Lanford telegraphed Chief of Police Beavers in Washington, D. C., Wednesday morning to investigate the origin of the affidavit bearing the signature of George M. Gentry in connection with the dictograph plot.

The detective chief asked Chief Beavers to find Jeannette Henning, the notary in the national capital who swore Gentry to his statement, and ascertain if the stenographer signed the affidavit which was brought to Atlanta by Detective E. O. Miles. The telegram asked that a minute investigation of the statement be made and the conditions under which it was made be wired to him immediately.

Chief Lanford’s action was taken following his declaration that he did not believe the affidavit genuine. Lanford stated as his belief that the stenographer’s name had either been forged or that Gentry has been coerced into signing the document.

Police officials have also conducted a rigid investigation into the standing of Detective Miles. Miles, the investigation showed, is at the head of the Reed Detective Agency.

Thomas B. Felder was at one time one of the largest stockholders in the agency, Carl Hutcheson being also a stockholder and attorney. He it was who appeared before the Police Commission and urged that body to grant the permit from the agency’s operation in Atlanta.

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The Atlanta Georgian, June 11th 1913, “Asks Beavers to Investigate Affidavit,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Lanford Answers Felder’s Charge

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

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, June 8, 1913

Declares That He Has Never Seen Gentry But Once in His Life.

“Tom Felder is a contemptible liar,” blazed Chief Lanford last night when informed of the contents of Colonel Felder’s letter directed to him through The Constitution. “I never saw this Gentry but once in my life, and that was before this dictagraph exposure ever happened. I have never seen him since.

“Gentry telephoned police headquarters Saturday, a week ago, however, and asked for Febuary, my secretary. Febuary happened not to be in at the time. I answered the telephone. Gentry wanted to know if a warrant was out against him. I told him I did not think there was, and that he had done nothing for which a warrant could be issued against him.

“I informed him that if a warrant was served on him, for him to notify me and I would help him out of his trouble. That was the last I heard of him until he left town. I did not have a thing to do with his departure. I have been trying to locate him, and wish I did know his whereabouts. I would bring him back to Atlanta and show by him that the charges that the dictagraph notes were padded is a lie from beginning to end.

“Felder’s row is hoed—he’s at his rope’s end. Give him rope enough and he’ll hang himself. He’s doing it now.”

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Atlanta Constitution, June 8th 1913, “Lanford Answers Felder’s Charge,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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