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This Day in Georgia History

July 29, 1913

Leo Frank Trial Day 2

This was the second day of the trial of Leo Frank being held in the Fulton County Courthouse. Newt Lee, the night watchman who discovered Mary Phagan’s body, concluded his testimony by repeating his story for the defense. Altogether Lee spent four hours and forty-five minutes on the stand. The next witness was police Sgt. L.S. Dobbs, who took Lee’s phone call and rushed to the factory. He said he found the body in the basement, face down, with a cord tied tightly around the neck, and a pair of women’s underpants tied loosely around the neck. The back of the head was covered in blood. He also found two notes, her shoes, and a trail where the body was dragged to its location. Detective John Starnes then took the stand. He had called Leo Frank to inform him of the murder, and said Frank appeared extremely nervous when he arrived at the factory. The highlight of the day was strong verbal clashes between prosecutor Hugh Dorsey and defense attorney Luther Rosser over Rosser’s attempts to discredit the testimony of Starnes.