Following a four-week trail and several hours of jury deliberation, Caleb “Kai” Lawrence McGillvary was found guilty of murder in a New Jersey courtroom on Wednesday.
McGillvary, once heralded as a hero and viral celebrity known as Kai the Hitchhiker, was convicted of first-degree murder in the beating death of 73-year old Joseph Gafly.
McGillvary has been in jail since and awaiting trail since he was arrested in New Jersey in 2013 .
He could face life in prison when he is sentenced June 13.
“This was a brutal, vicious, senseless crime, and we are pleased that the interests of justice have been served,” prosecutor Monahan said in a new release from the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.
McGillvary claimed self defense and argued he had been drugged and sexually assaulted by the New Jersey lawyer and that he did not call police after the incident because he feared being deported, according to news site NJ.com. McGillvary, who testified in his own defense, was almost thrown out of the courtroom following closing arguments, the story said.
McGillvary’s supporters who followed the case and posted updates on the Kai the Hitchhiker Legal Support Page on Facebook, claimed the judge in the case was biased and that an appeal is expected.
“Due to not being able to fully present his case, Kai has been found guilty of murder. We will be filing an appeal as soon as possible and will keep you updated,” the post said.