ELIZABETH — Caleb Lawrence McGillvary, who achieved internet notoriety as “Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker,” was indicted on Wednesday for first degree murder, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced.
McGillvary, 25, who has no established home address, is charged in connection with the May 12 death of 74-year-old Clark resident Joseph Galfy Jr.
Investigators found the body of Galfy in his home on May 13, after officers were called to the scene for a welfare check, according to the facts of the case, which is being prosecuted by Union County Assistant Prosecutor Scott Peterson. McGillvary remained at large for several days, until an employee at a Pennsylvania coffee shop phoned in a tip that led investigators to arrest him at a Greyhound Lines bus terminal in Philadelphia, Peterson said.
McGillvary is expected to be arraigned before the end of the year and could face a sentence of 30 years to life at trial.
McGillivary became known as “Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker” thanks to a video interview in which he said that he used a hatchet to save a utility worker who was being attacked by a trucker in Fresno, Calif. in February.
This remains an active investigation, and authorities are asking anyone with information about the case to contact Union County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Johnny Ho at 908-527-4509.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. McGillivary is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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