Frank’s Trial Set For Next Monday
The Atlanta Constitution
Tuesday, June 24, 1913
Indications Are Case Will Begin on That Day—Jury Panel Not Yet Drawn by Judge Roan.
The trial of Leo M Frank, superintendent of the National Pencil Factory, now under indictment for the murder of Mary Phagan on April 26 in the factory, has been definitely set for next Monday. This was the announcement of Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey last night after he had been working upon the court calendar for the coming week.
Solicitor Dorsey announced Sunday upon his arrival from New York city where he had spent the past two weeks that he intended to set the case for that date unless something unforeseen should come up. While he did not complete his calendar on Monday, he reached the Frank case and placed it definitely upon the docket.
The defense has indicated that it is ready to go [to] trial and it appears now that the case will actually be taken up on that day. Should it be postponed, it will be after a showing has been made in open court and a postponement granted by Judge L. S. Roan presiding in the criminal division of the superior court where Frank’s fate will be decided.
Panel Not Yet Drawn
The panel of venireman from which the jury to try Frank will be selected is expected to be drawn some time today or Wednesday. This is the duty of Judge Roan. It was rumored that the panel would be drawn from the jury list Monday afternoon, but this was not done. The list of prospective jurymen will not be made public after the drawing and only after their names are called when the trial has started and the task of picking the jury is begun will it be officially known who are the men who compose it.
It is expected that a special venire will be drawn containing the names of about 150 citizens as it is expected that many names will be stricken off the list before lawyers for the state and the defense are finally satisfied.
Picking Jury Important
Both Attorney Luther Z. Rosser and Attorney Reuben R. Arnold have wide reputations for their skill in choosing the jury and Solicitor Dorsey has also made this a study in the course of his criminal prosecution so that it is believed that this will be one of the longest and most important features of the trial. It is expected that it will take one or more days to choose the jury.
Since the return of Solicitor Dorsey to Atlanta he has been busily engaged in working on the case, despite the fact that he has announced that the case is ready as far as the state is concerned.
On Monday he and his assistant, E. A. Stephens were in conference with J. M. Gantt who was one of the first white men to be arrested as a suspect. Gantt was formerly an employee of the pencil factory and, according to testimony he returned to the factory to get an old pair of shoes on the day that the girl was killed.
He appeared before the coroner’s inquest and also before the grand jury following his release from custody. He stated that when he returned to the factory that Frank was preparing to leave and sent Newt Lee the nightwatchman upstairs with him to get his shoes. He was questioned closely as to Frank’s demeanor at that time.
The solicitor also had James Conley, the negro sweeper who has declared in a statement that Frank paid him to aid in hiding the girl’s body before him on the day after his return.