Where is Kai the Hitchhiker in 2023? The murder conviction that was his undoing

Kai the Hitchhiker

Caleb “Kai” McGillvary is the subject of the most recent Netflix documentary. The Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker had his fifteen minutes of fame when he saved the life of a pedestrian from a near-fatal attack in February 2013. But his downfall could not be swifter as the very “hero” was charged with the murder of Joseph Galfy, an elderly veteran and lawyer, not more than three months later.

After his arrest in May 2013 in the Galfy murder case, McGillvary was imprisoned for six years as he awaited trial. Once the trial finally began in April 2019, he was convicted of first-degree murder despite pleading not guilty. He is currently serving a 57-year term sentence and is tentatively scheduled for release in October 2061.

Kai is imprisoned at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton – He filed for an appeal to overturn his murder conviction

Kai the Hitchhiker
Caleb “Kai” McGillvary during an appearance in Superior Court of Union County in Elizabeth | Andrew Miller /NJ Advance Media

After the one-month trial found McGillvary guilty of beating a 74-year-old New Jersey attorney Joseph Galfy to death, he filed an appeal to overturn the conviction in 2020. He cited the jury’s misguided verdict and prosecution and judicial misconduct as reasons for the appeal.

McGillvary not only accused the prosecutors of mischaracterizing the evidence and defense but also faulted the judge for allowing improper prejudicial expert testimony during the trial.

However, the Court of Appeals upheld the conviction in August 2021 after the two-judge panel rejected all his appeal arguments. The panel wrote that the trial record does not suggest any miscarriage of justice that has occurred.

At the trial, McGillvary claimed that he hit Galfy in self-defense after being drugged and sexually assaulted by the attorney. The pair had first met in New York just a few days ago and McGillvary had accepted Galfy’s offer to stay at his home in Clark, New Jersey.

“Do I feel bad that he’s dead? It’s a human life, [so] I mean yeah. Do I feel bad that he raped me? I feel embarrassed like I think it’s disgusting. I feel all sorts of emotions and stuff that I wouldn’t wish on anyone else,” said McGillvary.

Medical testimony showed that the severity of injuries inflicted on Galfy by McGillvary was far more advanced that “just an effort to thwart a sexual advance”. Galfy had sustained four broken ribs, three skull fractures, and blunt force injury to his face among other injuries.

The prosecution argued that the sexual contact was consensual and the murder was premeditated as McGillvary fled the state and had cut his hair in an attempt to alter his appearance after the crime. Currently, McGillvary is serving the remainder of his sentence at New Jersey State Prison in Trenton.