You Are There: Atlanta Constitution, July 4th, 1913

Effort Will Be Made to Free Newt Lee

The Atlanta Constitution
Friday, July 4, 1913

Attorney Chappell Declares Belief That Lee Has No Knowledge of Guilty Parties.

An early effort is likely to be made to free Newt Lee, the negro night watchman who discovered the body of Mary Phagan, and who has since been held for suspected complicity in the crime.

This is intimated in a statement issued by the negro’s counsel, Bernard L. Chappell, who says he has arrived at the conclusion that his client knows absolutely nothing about the murder, except his grewsome discovery.

Lee was not indicted, although his name was submitted before the grand jury at the same time action was taken against Leo Frank. No amount of cross-examination can break his story in any respect, and he has told the same straightforward tale throughout imprisonment.

Attorney Chappell hinted that he would institute habeas corpus proceedings in the attempt to liberate the watchman.