Caleb McGillivary, Internet-Famous ‘Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker,’ Convicted of First-Degree Murder

A 2013 internet sensation once heralded as a hero was convicted of first-degree murder on Wednesday, the New York Daily News reports. Caleb McGillivary—otherwise known as “Kai the Hatchet-wielding Hitchhiker”—first rose to internet stardom when a California news station interviewed him in 2013 about saving two pedestrians from an attacker using his hatchet. A few months after that, McGillivary allegedly killed 73-year-old New Jersey lawyer Joseph Galfy. McGillivary reportedly met Galfy in Times Square when the lawyer invited McGillivary to stay in his guest bedroom. Galfy was found beaten to death a day later, with “serious blunt-force injuries to his face, head, neck, chest, and arms.” Text messages between the two in Galfy's phone led to McGillivary's arrest. McGillivary reportedly claimed he was acting in self-defense after Galfy drugged and sexually assaulted him. The former viral figure could face life in prison and is expected to be sentenced in June. His Facebook “Legal Support Page,” which boasts 19,000 followers, reportedly posted a message stating that they would be “filing an appeal as soon as possible[.]”