Crime, Law and Justice

Apple River stabbing case: Nicolae Miu found guilty of killing Isaac Schuman

portrait of a man in a trial
Nicolae Miu looks on during his murder trial on April 5, at the St. Croix County Circuit Court in Hudson, Wis.
Aaron Lavinsky | Star Tribune via AP

Updated: 1:35 p.m.

A jury on Thursday found a Minnesota man guilty on all charges in connection with the fatal stabbing of a teenager during a tubing trip in western Wisconsin in the summer of 2022.

Nicolae Miu, who’s now 54, was found guilty of first-degree reckless homicide in the death of 17-year-old Isaac Schuman of Stillwater during a confrontation on the Apple River. The verdict was read just after 11 a.m. in St. Croix County Circuit Court in Hudson, Wis.

“It’s been 21 months we’ve been waiting for justice for Isaac Michael Schuman, and we got it today,” Schuman’s father, Donny Hernandez, said outside the courthouse after the verdict.

A person in a courtroom02
Nicolae Miu was convicted on charges from the stabbing that killed 17-year-old Isaac Schuman (pictured) and wounded four others.
Kare 11 via screenshot

Miu was also found guilty of four counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, in connection with four people who were wounded in the stabbing — Alexander Martin, Dante Carlson, Anthony Carlson and Ryhley Mattison.

Miu also was found guilty on a count of battery.

He had been charged with first-degree intentional homicide, and four counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

But KARE 11 reported that the jury was given the option to find Miu guilty on less-severe charges of reckless homicide and recklessly endangering safety — and exercised that discretion in their verdict.

Miu’s defense attorney, Aaron Nelson, told reporters outside the courthouse that he was surprised and “respectfully disappointed” by the verdict. Speaking for his client, he said Miu was “sad, obviously disappointed in the result. And, you know, contemplating his future life.”

District attorney Karl Anderson said he was “relieved” for Schuman’s family and for the other victims, and said he felt confident the jury would find Miu guilty.

“When we looked at all the evidence, it seemed clear to us that he was angry, that he wasn’t afraid,” Anderson said of Miu’s mindset at the time of the stabbing.

A sentencing date has not yet been set.

Anderson said even with the conviction on less-serious charges, Miu could still face significant prison time. The sentencing decision will be up to the judge.

According to the criminal complaint, Miu reportedly told investigators he was using a snorkel and goggles to look for a lost cell phone. Video and witness accounts of what happened next indicate bystanders accused him of approaching children in the water — sparking the confrontation.

The complaint said video shows Miu falling into the river and then emerging with a knife in his hand and stabbing a person.

Nelson, the defense attorney, had said Miu was looking for a lost phone and tried to walk away but was surrounded by a dozen angry people. Miu had claimed he acted in self-defense.

Prosecutors had argued that Miu had no reason to pull out a knife, and that he had opportunities to defuse the situation or walk away.

The jury started deliberating around midday Wednesday, and continued Thursday.

Several cell-phone videos of the confrontation and its aftermath were played during the trial. Jurors on Wednesday had asked to view one of those videos another time, which happened in court on Thursday morning, about three hours before the verdict was read.

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