ELIZABETH, N.J. -

A man who gained Internet fame as "Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker" has pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the beating death of an elderly New Jersey man last year.

Caleb McGillivary remained silent Monday while his public defender entered the plea in court in Elizabeth.

McGillivary, 24, is accused of killing 73-year-old lawyer Joseph Galfy, whose body was found May 13 in his Clark home. McGillivary was arrested in Philadelphia days later and could face a life sentence if he's convicted.

Authorities said the two men met in New York City and McGillivary stayed at Galfy's home.

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.