ELIZABETH, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A man who gained Internet fame as “Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker” has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge.
Caleb McGillvary walked into a Union County courtroom handcuffed and disheveled on Monday, CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported.
The 24-year-old Canadian is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 73-year-old Union County lawyer Joseph Galfy.
Lorraine Stanley, the public defender representing McGillvary, entered a plea of not guilty as McGillvary showed little expression, Burrell reported.
The case will now go before a grand jury, which will decide if prosecutors have enough evidence to take the case to trial.
McGillvary stood behind thick glass and questioned Judge Brenda Coppola Cuba numerous times about his plea and bail.
“Can I postpone the plea until after there’s been more time to review the evidence?” McGillvary asked.
He said a private attorney is attempting to contact him but claims he was not allowed to use a phone in jail.
“They haven’t given me the right to a phone call,” McGillvary added.
The judge agreed to make sure McGillvary has access to his own lawyer, Burrell reported.
Stanley said friends have been working to get defense attorney Miles Feinstein involved in McGillvary’s case. Feinstein told The Associated Press that McGillvary’s supporters contacted him. He said he is unsure if he will represent McGillvary but plans on meeting him this week.
Authorities said Galfy was found partially clothed and beaten to death inside his Clark home on May 13. McGillvary met Galfy in Times Square and spent at least two nights in Galfy’s home before the lawyer was killed, prosecutors said.
McGillvary was arrested at a Greyhound Bus Terminal on May 16 after he was spotted at a Philadelphia Starbucks.
McGillvary became a YouTube sensation after he stopped a suspect who allegedly attacked a utility worker in Fresno, Calif., back in February.
At the time, he told KMPH that he was a passenger in the suspect’s car when the suspect plowed the car into a utility truck, pinning the worker between the car and the truck.
When the suspect became violent with a bystander, “Kai” pulled a hatchet from his backpack and struck the suspect in the head.
His expletive-laden interview following the incident went viral online after it was posted on YouTube. He even made an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
Prosecutors have declined to say what object was used in Galfy’s beating.
McGillvary was told at the end of the proceeding he is being held on $3 million bail.
“OK, fine. Cool,” he said.
The judge told McGillvary bail will only be accepted if the $3 million is paid in full. McGillvary has also been ordered to turn over his passport.
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