‘Kai the Hitchhiker’ loses bid to overturn NJ murder conviction

New Jersey
Caleb "Kai" McGillvary

FILE- In this May 30, 2013 file photo, Caleb “Kai” McGillvary, 24, center, is taken by Union County sheriff’s officers to jail in Elizabeth, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

NEWARK, N.J. — A former online celebrity who achieved fame for allegedly using a hatchet to fend off an attack on a highway worker has failed in his attempt to have his murder conviction overturned.

Caleb McGillvary was convicted two years ago of the 2013 murder of attorney Joseph Galfy at Galfy’s New Jersey home. The two had met in New York’s Times Square, and McGillvary claimed he killed the older man while fending off a sexual assault.

McGillvary became known as “Kai, the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker” after a 2012 incident in California.

In his appeal, the Alberta, Canada native argued the jury’s verdict wasn’t justified by the evidence presented.

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