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Apple River stabbing suspect pleads not guilty to charges in Wisconsin court

Nicolae Miu is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and four counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide

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Isaac Schuman, 17, of Stillwater, was stabbed to death July 30, 2022, in an altercation while tubing on the Apple River near Somerset, Wis.
Courtesy of the Schuman family
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Nicolae Miu, who told authorities he acted in self-defense during a July confrontation on the Apple River in Wisconsin that left a Stillwater teenager dead and four people with serious stab wounds, entered a not guilty plea to all charges against him at an arraignment hearing Thursday.

Miu appeared before St. Croix Circuit Court Judge Michael Waterman by video from a conference room at the St. Croix County Jail, where he remains held on a $1 million cash bond. Miu sat next to one of his attorneys, Aaron Nelson, who made the not guilty plea on his behalf.

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Nicolae Miu, 52, of Prior Lake.
Courtesy / St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office

Miu, of Prior Lake, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and four counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide for allegedly stabbing to death 17-year-old Isaac Schuman, of Stillwater, and seriously injuring three men and a woman July 30 in Somerset. Prosecutors also recently added a sixth charge, misdemeanor battery.

Witnesses told authorities that Miu, 52, had been bothering young women and girls tubing on the river just upstream from the Highway 35/64 bridge. Miu told investigators he acted to defend himself after he was attacked while searching for a lost cellphone.

At the end of the four-minute hearing, District Attorney Karl Anderson requested a status conference in 30 to 45 days to allow time for discovery to be given to defense. Nelson agreed. Waterman scheduled the conference for Nov. 1.

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Last week, Waterman concluded that prosecutors had presented sufficient evidence that a felony trial would move forward. Miu’s attorney said Thursday his client is not asserting his right to a speedy trial at this time.

Chirafisi also laid the groundwork for a self-defense claim last week. He questioned Lt. Brandie Hart of the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office about her recollection of a video that she said showed most of the incident, as well as witness accounts.

Hart testified that the video shows that Miu was not aggressive with them while he was turned away from them, looking for the cellphone, and they were yelling at him to get away. She said Miu had not made physical motions toward the six tubers who were around him before the altercation became violent.

However, during earlier questioning from prosecution Hart said that witnesses told her the incident first became violent after Miu “struck a female” in the face. She said the video does not show her being hit, but does show Miu then being pushed into the river, slapped and pushed again. She said it shows him pulling a knife from his shorts and stabbing one tuber, which she described as a “jab” that appeared to move up the person’s torso.

Authorities found Schuman without vital signs, and with a puncture wound in the upper abdomen near his left breast. He was pronounced dead at Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater. Also stabbed were A.J. Martin, 22, of Elk River, Minn.; Rhyley Mattison, 24, of Burnsville; and two men from Luck, Wis., ages 20 and 22.

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