Daniel Lane Walls, the self-described imperial wizard of Tennessee’s Old Glory Knights of the KKK at the Maury County Courthouse where he pleaded not guilty of civil rights intimidation. Photo by Clint Confehr

By Clint Confehr

COLUMBIA, TN — The imperial wizard of Tennessee’s Old Glory Knights of the KKK requested a public defender Monday and pleaded not guilty to four counts of civil rights intimidation.

Daniel Lane Walls, 38, 3372 Fly Road, Santa Fe, is also charged with vandalism and contributing to the delinquency of a 17-year-old boy who allegedly glued KKK membership recruitment fliers on three Black churches’ marquees July 9 when Walls allegedly drove the boy around Columbia in pre-dawn hours.

In Maury County General Sessions Court, Walls submitted an application for a public defender, thereby claiming indigence. Noting Walls was released on $43,000 bond, Judge Bobby Sands asked how Walls could be so very needy as to be unable to hire an attorney.

“My mother posted bond for me,” Walls replied. “I don’t have that kind of money.”

Sands asked if Walls’ mother wouldn’t help him hire a lawyer.

“All she had was used to get me out,” Walls replied. “I had a job and lost it due to the charges. Then I got this other job and lost it because it’s already showing up on the background check.”

He’s also finding it hard to get a lawyer.

“They want a $20,000 retainer,” Walls said. “They’re afraid of being labeled racist” if they defend a klansman.

Klan members aren’t racists, Walls said. They’re separatists. There are about 50 Old Glory Knights led by Walls in Tennessee, he said.

Columbia Police obtained security camera video from a mobile pizza kitchen parked along North James Campbell Boulevard near 7th Street. It shows a young male running from the front passenger door of a white sedan and pasting a klan membership recruiting flier on the side of the trailer.

“I’m not on video,” Walls said. “It was my car.”

The fliers were posted or left at more than 100 places in Columbia, Walls said.

“Be warned,” the fliers state. “Race traitors, mixed breeds, communist, homosexuals, and all other walks of Godless degeneracy, the Klan is back again and here to stay, so you better make amends or stay away.”

Police described the flyers as hate propaganda and cited Walls and the juvenile for acts of civil rights intimidation.

According to law.justia.com, state lawmakers have declared that every person, regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion or national origin, has the right to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, harassment and bodily injury caused by the activities of groups and individuals.

The fliers were posted at three Black churches — Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist, Bethel Chapel AME and Faith United Missionary Baptist — at least one other church, an apartment complex, and left in plastic bags on driveways.

Walls’ application for a public defender is to be reviewed by that state office and it’s anticipated that Walls’ legal representation will be discussed when he appears in court at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 27.

Clint Confehr — an American journalist since 1972 — first wrote for The Tennessee Tribune in 1999. His news writing and photography in South Central Tennessee and the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical...