Fresno Beehive

‘Kai the Hitchhiker’ sentenced to 57 years in prison in murder of New Jersey lawyer

Caleb McGillvary was found guilty of first-dgree murder in a New Jersey courtroom April 24, 2019.
Caleb McGillvary was found guilty of first-dgree murder in a New Jersey courtroom April 24, 2019. Union Country Prosecutor's Office

Caleb McGillvary, the viral celebrity known as “Kai the HItchhiker” was sentenced on Thursday to 57 years in prison.

The sentencing comes just over a month after McGillvary was convicted in a New Jersey courtroom of first-degree murder in the killing of 73-year-old Joseph Gafly.

It comes a full six years after McGillvary was arrested and charged with beating the New Jersey lawyer to death in his home. McGillvary has continued to claim he acted in self defense and that authorities destroyed and/or failed to collect evidence in his case. He even reached for help from then-New Jersey governor Chris Christie in 2015.

According to a post pinned to the top of the Kai the Hitchhiker legal support Facebook page, McGillvary fired his lawyer last week and filed a motion for a new trial. That motion was denied, the post said.

For those catching up, McGillvary became gained national attention (and the nickname) after a news interview taken at the scene of a stranger-than-fiction encounter in Fresno that involved a hitchhiking McGillvary and a hatchet.

Related stories from Fresno Bee

  Comments