Jury finds Nicolae Miu guilty of reckless homicide, lesser counts in deadly stabbing on Apple River

Miu Trial Verdict in Apple River Stabbing

Miu Trial Verdict in Apple River Stabbing

Jurors have found Nicolae Miu guilty of lesser counts in a deadly stabbing on the Apple River in 2022.

Miu, 54, was charged with first-degree homicide, attempted first-degree homicide and battery charges stemming from the incident, which killed 17-year-old Isaac Schuman and hurt four others. However, if jurors found the evidence doesn’t reach the level of those charges, they could also consider lesser charges on second-degree homicide, attempted second-degree homicide, reckless homicides and recklessly endangering safety.

That was key, as the jurors unanimously found Miu guilty on all lesser counts — first-degree reckless homicide, four counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety and battery — not the five highest charges he faced. The verdict came after around seven hours of deliberations.

“So he was originally charged with intentional crimes. By deduction, it seems like they couldn’t agree on the intentional crimes, and they moved on to the reckless, and that’s what he was charged with,” Miu’s defense attorney Aaron Nelson said outside court, adding that they still carry “substantial, life-changing penalties.”

Nelson added that he was “surprised, respectfully disappointed” with the verdict but acknowledged what the jurors were tasked with and added that Miu is obviously disappointed.

District Attorney Karl Anderson said he was “relieved” with the verdict, particularly for the victims and their families, calling the case “tragic on many levels.”

“Because I think Isaac and the other victims got justice. I was very hopeful for a conviction but you just never know what a jury is gonna do,” Anderson added.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Reporter Eric Chaloux said Schuman’s friends and family shared hugs and shed tears in the hallway outside the courtroom after the verdict was read.

“I just want to thank all our supporters, our family, law enforcement, people that have supported us that we don’t even know throughout the country, state of Minnesota, wherever,” Donny Hernandez, a spokesperson for the victims’ families, said. “It’s been 21 months we’ve been waiting for justice for Isaac Michael Schuman,” he added, his voice breaking, “and we got it today, so I just want to tell everybody I appreciate all your love and support.

Donny Hernandez, a spokesperson for the victims’ families, talks outside the St. Croix County Courthouse after the verdict was read in the Nicolae Miu case on April 11, 2024. (Eric Chaloux/KSTP-TV)

Miu’s family and friends didn’t show any visible changes in emotion when the verdict was read and his twin brother declined comment. None of the jurors stopped to offer comment as they left the courthouse.

Miu’s sentencing date will be set at a later time. He left court escorted by deputies.

The top count he was convicted of carries up to 40 years in prison and the others are punishable by up to 7½ years, plus five years on each count for using a dangerous weapon. However, Anderson noted his sentence is “strictly up to the judge’s discretion,” as Wisconsin law doesn’t have sentencing guidelines.

Prosecutors said the Prior Lake man pulled a knife from his pocket and lashed out at a group that was tubing on the river following a confrontation. Miu and his attorneys say he was just looking for his cellphone and the group of people attacked him, forcing him to defend himself.

“You have to look at those 14 seconds through Nic Miu’s eyes,” Miu’s attorney Corey Chirafisi told jurors during closing arguments. “He thought he was going to die. He thought he was going to suffer serious bodily injury.”

St. Croix County District Attorney Karl Anderson called Miu’s actions that day, “absolutely senseless, horrific acts of violence,” adding, “all Nicolae Miu had to do was walk away.”

Miu’s trial started on April 1 and the jury was handed the case just before 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10.

For complete coverage of the case, CLICK HERE.

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