Santa Fe man sentenced to 3 years for posting KKK flyers at black churches

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The Maury County Criminal Circuit Court this week sentenced Santa Fe man Daniel Walls to three years in prison in connection with his involvement in posting racist flyers at black churches in Columbia in July 2023.

Walls, 39, pleaded guilty Tuesday to four counts of civil rights harassment. In addition to his three-year prison sentence, Walls will also receive six years’ probation.

Circuit Judge David Allen, 22NL Judicial District, presided over the hearing.

More: Columbia, community faith leaders unite after hate flyer is left at black churches

Walls’ arrest and charges initially stemmed from the incident last year, in which flyers associated with the “Old Glory Knights of the Ku Klux Klan” were discovered on the doors of Faith United Missionary Baptist Church, Bethel Chapel AME Church and Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, all in Columbia.

“It’s a shame, but when things like this happen you have to send a clear signal to everyone who wants to do the same. Hatred will not be tolerated in any way and that is why I believe the punishment was fair and just. for what happened,” Mount Calvary Pastor Kenny Anderson said.

Maury County Mayor greets Pastor Kenny Anderson of Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church following a prayer service in response to a message of hate received by three predominantly Black churches in Columbia, Tennessee on July 12, 2023.

Maury County Mayor greets Pastor Kenny Anderson of Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church following a prayer service in response to a message of hate received by three predominantly Black churches in Columbia, Tennessee on July 12, 2023.

Footage obtained by Columbia police last year also showed a male subject placing an additional flyer on the side of Muletown Pizza’s food truck.

Following the initial reports, Anderson, along with members of the Columbia Police Department, citizens and city and county leaders gathered at Mount Calvary with the message that this type of behavior would not be tolerated. Or better said, that the community would approach this with love and support, and not with hatred.

More: Columbia police accuse adult men and youth of ‘hate’ flyers distributed at three black churches

“We came together in unity, love and oneness. We came together against anyone who wants to bring racism and hatred to our city,” Anderson said. “Love can always outweigh hate and will always prevail in an issue like this.”

At the time of Walls’ arrest, a 17-year-old white male was also arrested in connection with the incident but was not identified.

District Attorney Brent Cooper released a statement Tuesday about the verdict.

“I hope that the sentence handed down to Mr Walls today serves two purposes. First, it makes the minority community feel safer, and second, it sends the message to like-minded people like Mr. Walls that this kind of harassment will not happen. tolerated in our community,” Cooper said.

Jay Powell is a general reporter for The Daily Herald. Get the latest news in your inbox by subscribing to The Daily Herald newsletter at www.ColumbiaDailyHerald.com.

This article originally appeared in The Daily Herald: Man sentenced to three years for posting KKK flyers in black churches