Caleb McGillivary, 24, is accused of killing 73-year-old lawyer Joseph Galfy, whose body was found May 13 in his Clark home.
During an appearance Monday in a Union County jail courtroom, McGillivary questioned Judge Brenda Coppola Cuba about his plea and bail. He stood, hands shackled, in a part of the courtroom enclosed by thick glass.
McGillivary appeared confused about the charges against him and the legal process. He asked the judge to "elaborate" on the charges, and asked if he would be able to "postpone the plea" if he were represented by a private lawyer.
Lorraine Stanley, the public defender representing McGillivary, told him she was pleading not guilty on his behalf to "get the ball rolling." The case will now go before a grand jury, which will decide if prosecutors have enough evidence to take the case to trial.
McGillivary said a private attorney is attempting to contact him but claims he was not allowed to use a phone in jail. The judge told McGillivary he would be allowed to make a phone call.
Stanley said friends have been working to get defense attorney Miles Feinstein involved in McGillivary's case.
Feinstein told The Associated Press that McGillivary's supporters contacted him. He is unsure if he will represent McGillivary but plans on meeting him this week.
McGillivary was told at the end of the proceeding he is being held on $3 million bail.
"OK, fine. Cool," he said.
McGillivary took a star turn in February after intervening in an attack on a Fresno, Calif., utility worker. He described himself as "home free" instead of homeless and said he's from West Virginia. He is actually Canadian.
Authorities say McGillivary and Galfy met in New York City and that McGillivary stayed at Galfy's home. He was arrested in Philadelphia days after the killing.
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