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‘Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker’ convicted of 1st-degree murder in N.J. man’s death

Caleb "Kai" McGilvary.
Caleb "Kai" McGilvary. Jessob Reisbeck/YouTube/GlobalNews.ca screen grab

A man who gained Internet fame as “Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker” has been convicted of first-degree murder in the beating death of a New Jersey man almost six years ago.

Jurors in Union County convicted 30-year-old Caleb “Kai” McGillvary on Wednesday in the May 2013 death of 73-year-old lawyer Joseph Galfy. Authorities said the two met in New York and the defendant stayed at Galfy’s home. McGillvary was arrested in Philadelphia days later.

WATCH: June 3, 2013 — Kai the Hitchhiker pleads not guilty on murder charges

McGillvary alleged that he acted in self-defence following an attempted sexual assault, but prosecutors said his statements were inconsistent and also cited the victim’s extensive injuries.

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The Canadian gained some online fame after intervening in a 2012 assault on a California utility worker in which he described using a hatchet to fend off a further attack.

READ MORE: Not guilty plea entered for ‘Kai the hitchhiker’