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 at times about his plea and bail. He wore an oatmeal-colored T-shirt and stood in a part of the courtroom enclosed by thick glass.
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.
Lorraine Stanley, the public defender representing McGillivary, said friends have been working to get defense attorney Miles Feinstein involved in McGillivary's case.
A woman who answered the phone at Feinstein's office said he was in court.
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.
McGillivary at times appeared confused about the charges against him and the way the American legal process works. He asked the judge to "elaborate" on the charges, and asked if he would be able to "postpone the plea" if he was represented by a private lawyer.
Stanley told McGillivary she was pleading not guilty on his behalf to "get the ball rolling." The case will now go before a grand jury.
McGilivary was told at the end of the proceeding he is being held on $3 million bail.
"Ok, fine. Cool," he said.
Authorities say McGillivary and Galfy met in New York City. McGillvary stayed at Galfy's home. He was arrested in Philadelphia days later.