Court finds probable cause against defendant in Apple River stabbing case
Court officials have determined there is probable cause that a Prior Lake man who is accused of stabbing multiple people on the Apple River earlier this summer committed a felony, meaning it can head to trial if needed.
A preliminary hearing was held in St. Croix County Court for 52-year-old Nicolae Miu around 9:15 a.m. Friday.
As previously reported, Miu is being held on a $1 million bail for one count of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide, and four counts of Attempted 1st Degree Intentional Homicide.
Miu is accused of stabbing five people who were tubing on the Apple River on Saturday, July 30: a 17-year-old Stillwater boy; two men ages 20 and 22 from Luck, Wisconsin; a 22-year-old Man from Elk River and a 24-year-old Burnsville woman.
The 17-year-old, identified by family members as Isaac Schuman, died from his injuries.
During Friday’s hearing, court records say a St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant testified.
Lt. Brandie Hart was examined by District Attorney Karl Anderson, and was cross examined by the defense team.
After arguments, records say the court found probable cause that Miu committed a felony, and has been bound over for trial.
An arraignment hearing is currently scheduled for the afternoon of Thursday, Sept. 8.
According to the criminal complaint, authorities spoke with a woman who said she and her husband, identified as Miu, arrived at Rivers Edge Campground, planning to join a group in floating down the river.
The woman said Miu left the group to try to find a lost phone belonging to one of the members of their group. While he was reportedly searching for that phone, a confrontation involving Miu and a different group of people tubing on the river ensued.
“Witnesses described Nicolae as punching or slapping a female that was in the group confronting him, Nicolae was then punched by a male and fell into the river,” the complaint states. It’s alleged Miu then began “stabbing multiple individuals who were near him.”
The complaint also reports investigators have obtained video captured at the scene; an investigator involved with the case reported in the complaint that “The video and elapsed time shows opportunity for Nicolae to leave the confrontation.”
Part of the complaint states Miu told an investigator he had a snorkel and was looking for a cell phone lost in the river, and went on to say that his response in the confrontation “was self-defense” and that he couldn’t recall all of what happened. He also stated he was “so fearful for his safety.”
“Nic said he didn’t know what happened other than “they attacked me” and “I was in self-defense mode”,” the complaint states.