A hitchhiker who briefly became an online celebrity after giving a profanity-laced interview several years ago has been found guilty of killing a 73-year-old attorney in his Clark home, the Union County Prosecutor's Office said Wednesday.
Caleb "Kai" McGillvary, 30, was convicted of first-degree murder in the beating death of Joseph Galfy Jr. six years ago.
Police discovered Galfy's body beside his bed after responding to his Starlight Drive home May 13, 2013.
Surveillance footage, cell phone data and other evidence quickly pointed to McGillvary as the suspect. He was arrested in Philadelphia a few days after the killing when he was recognized by a coffee shop worker, who called police.
Investigators learned that McGillvary and Galfy met in New York's Times Square a little more than a day before Galfy was killed. McGillvary said he injured Galfy in self-defense. Galfy stood 5'5", weighed 230 lbs. and had a heart condition.
An autopsy revealed that Galfy had suffered numerous blunt-force trauma injuries to his ribs, face, neck, chest and arms as well as three skull fractures -- injuries which the state said were not consistent with a claim of self-defense.
“This was a brutal, vicious, senseless crime, and we are pleased that the interests of justice have been served,” Prosecutor Michael Monahan said. “We sincerely thank the jury for their service and hope that today’s verdict brings some measure of solace to Mr. Galfy’s family, friends, and loved ones.”
McGillvary faces up to life in prison when he's sentenced in June.
An interview with McGillvary went viral, garnering 7.2 million views as of Thursday, in which he recalled apparently using a hatchet to "smash, smash, suh-mash" a man, saving a woman's life.
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