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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. (more…)

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. (more…)

July 28 Is Date Agreed Upon for Trial of Frank

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

The Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, June 24, 1913

Judge Names Date After Statement From Reuben R. Arnold, In Which He Said Trial Would Last Two Weeks

DEFENSE TAKES STEPS TO GET STATE’S EVIDENCE

Subpenas Duces Tecum Issued, Demanding Production of Affidavits and Popers [sic] in Possession of Solicitor

Leo M. Frank, accused of the slaying of Mary Phagan, will not be tried before superior court Judge L. S. Roan next Monday. The judge in a conference with attorneys at 2 o’clock Tuesday afternoon formally set the trial for Monday, July 28, and no attempt to reopen the questions of arraignment will be made. Both the prosecution and the defense agreed to this date.

Any attempt made to put Frank on trial on next Monday was silenced when Reuben R. Arnold, speaking for the defense, said flatly that the trial would take at least two weeks. The assurance that the trial would last some time and the fact that it likely would be held in the stuffy little court room in the Thrower building, if scheduled Monday, practically caused the postponement.

Solicitor Dorsey, for the state, and Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold, for the prosecution, were summoned to the court house by Judge Roan at 3 o’clock and a discussion of the matter was opened.

SOLICITOR ANNOUNCED READY.

Solicitor Dorsey announced that he was ready and made the declaration that his witnesses would not take more than two days at the outside. He said if the defense had any he didn’t think they would take any longer.

This remark brought a grunt from Luther Z. Rosser and the Arnold statement that the trial would take two weeks.

“We have the witnesses,” both of the lawyers for the defense asserted.

Both Attorneys Rosser and Arnold told the court that in the event of a postponement of the case for Monday that they desired it to go over until after the week of July 14, when both would be engaged in the trial of Mattie Flanders in Swainsboro. Mr. Rosser represents the defense of Mrs. Flanders and Mr. Arnold the prosecution.

This came when Solicitor Dorsey suggested that the case be tried on July 7.

Judge Roan, in fixing July 28 as a date suitable to all concerned, said that there would be no break in the week, as there would with July 4, that a good court room for the trial could be obtained about July 13, that the jail could be cleared of routine cases by that time and previously made engamenest [sic] would not be interrupted.

All lawyers concerned were in court and the judge asserted that lack of preparation could not be offered as an excuse when the case was called on July 28.

The attorneys for Leo M. Frank Tuesday afternoon secured subpoenas duces tecum to be served on Chief James L. Beavers, Chief N. A. Lanford, Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey, Assistant Solicitor E. A. Stevens, Hary [sic] Scott, of the Pinkertons; City Detectives John Black, Pat Campbell and J. N. tSarnes [sic], and Secretary of Chief Lanford, G. C. Febuary, calling upon them to produce in court Monday June 30, or any other day that the Frank case might be on trial, all affidavits or statements secured from Jim Conley, the negro sweeper; Monteen Stover and Grace Hix. (more…)

Gentry, Found by Journal, Says Notes Will Show Enough to Justify What Was Sworn To

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

The Atlanta Journal

Sunday, June 15, 1913

“Upon Reading My Notes Before the Court It Will Be Proven That There Is Enough of It There to Justify What Was Written and Sworn to be Me as Being Practically the Gist of What Was Said,” Says Young Stenographer of Dictograph Records Transcribed by Him

“I WAS ALLOWED TO READ PROOF OF WHAT WAS PUBLISHED ABOUT FELDER CONFERENCE,” HE SAYS

“As Far as What The Journal Published, Will Say, as Far as I Can Remember, What They Printed Were the Facts In a General Way, and the Changes Were Immaterial.” Located by The Jounaal’s [sic] Washington Correspondent, Gentry Talks Freely.

By Ralph Smith

WASHINGTON, D. C., June 14.—Living under an assumed name and holding a lucrative position as an expert stenographer, George M. Gentry, of Atlanta, who made the famous dictograph notes, was located in Washington today by the Journal correspondent. He has been here since May 27. He left Atlanta via the Southern railway on the evening of May 26, following the Felder exposure. He claims to have seen no one from Atlanta other than E. O. Miles, and The Journal correspondent, though he is in communication with the members of his immediate family.

Gentry’s real identity is unknown to his employers, and at his request his present address and the place of his employment are withheld by the correspondent. Their publication, he believes, might cause him unnecessary annoyance.

“I left Atlanta because I feared that I might be arrested for perjury,” he said.

Gentry today voluntarily made an affidavit, elaborating and elucidating the statements contained in the affidavit he recently gave to E. O. Miles. This affidavit, made today, was sworn to and subscribed before Isaac Heidenheimer, of 1226 Pennsylvania avenue, notary public, for the District of Columbia. It was witnessed by Senator William Hughes, of New Jersey and Congressman Frank Doremus, of Michigan.

The original and a carbon copy are in the possession of The Journal correspondent, and Gentry himself has a copy. The affidavit was written by Gentry, without suggestion or dictation from anyone.

“Unfortunately I did not go into enough detail in my previous affidavit, hence the necessity of making a further one,” swore Gentry today.

Continuing the affidavit says, “I neglected to mention in same (the Miles affidavit) that I was allowed to read a proof of what The Journal published, in connection with the Felder conference. This conference was transcribed first and printed in Friday’s issue of the Journal. The other conferences, all of which were held Wednesday afternoon and evening, preceding the date of publication, were not published until after the Felder conference was published. I made one or two changes in the proof of the Felder conference, this being the only proof I was allowed to see. As I remember in one instance, I had written the word “intrude” any my notes contained the word “intruding.”

“Further than this I do not remember of any change that I made in same, with the exception of ordinary corrections, such as marking misspelled words, adding periods and commas, and striking them out.” (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…)

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