Nicolae Miu takes the stand in his trial, says he feared for his life

Nicolae Miu takes the stand in his trial, says he feared for his life

Nicolae Miu takes the stand in his trial, says he feared for his life

The man accused in a deadly stabbing on the Apple River in Wisconsin in July 2022 took the stand in his own defense on Tuesday, the seventh day of his trial.

Nicolae Miu, 54, of Prior Lake, is facing homicide, attempted homicide and battery charges stemming from the incident, which killed 17-year-old Isaac Schuman and hurt four others.

Prosecutors say Miu 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 a cellphone and the group of people attacked him, forcing him to defend himself.

RELATED: Trial begins for man accused of stabbing multiple people on the Apple River

In the morning, jurors saw Miu’s hourlong interview with a St. Croix County investigator after he was arrested. Right out of the gate, Miu was emphatic he acted in self-defense.

Day 7 of Nicolae Miu trial

Day 7 of Nicolae Miu trial

“I was so fearful,” he told the investigator. “I didn’t know what these people were doing to us. I’ve never been in a situation like this.”

In the video, Miu went on to say how he was looking for a cellphone that had fallen in the water when a group of people started yelling at him and attacking him. He also claimed that two people pulled knives on him and was adamant that he didn’t bring a knife down the river.

Miu’s attorneys have stressed to jurors that he said at least 20 times in the interview with investigators that he acted in self-defense and tried to emphasize that he was stressed during that interview, which could’ve clouded his memory. A complete video of Miu talking with law enforcement following the stabbing can be viewed below.

Miu speaks to law enforcement following the stabbing

He took the stand in the middle of the day, admitting at one point that he lied about the knife involved in the encounter and saying he feared for his life.

He said he was “absolutely not” trying to kill anyone and explained his reaction to teens saying he was looking for young girls rather than a phone.

“I felt frustrated, I felt annoyed, they kept saying it over and over,” Miu testified.

Then, two women from a group of adults came over and put their hands on him, Miu said.

“They are yelling at me, at one point they were pointing downriver, saying go, go,” he testified, adding that he pushed away one woman who was in his personal space. That’s when he says others pushed him into the water.

“I feared for my life … to tell you the truth when they started hitting me and pointing a knife at me, and another kid pointed a knife … I thought that was it,” Miu told jurors.

He also testified that Schuman put his hands on him during the incident.

Prosecutors say Miu stabbed five people in a span of about 20 seconds. Miu says he left the scene and threw the knife away. He was arrested about an hour later.

The defense rested its case late in the afternoon after Miu finished his testimony.

The trial is scheduled to resume for closing arguments Wednesday morning before the jury is handed the case.

Prosecutors also requested lesser-included offenses of second-degree intentional homicide, first- and second-degree reckless homicide, attempted second-degree homicide and first- and second-degree recklessly endangering safety charges be included for jurors to consider against Miu. The judge agreed the facts of the case supported the inclusion of those lesser offenses.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS is streaming the trial live each day. You can watch in the video player above, or by CLICKING HERE to watch on our YouTube page. Check back for updates.

For 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS complete coverage on the trial and stabbing, CLICK HERE.