Apr 10, 2024 - News

The Apple River stabbing trial is nearing its end

Nicolae Miu testifies at his trial

Nicolae Miu testified at his trial. Photo: Fox 9

Jury deliberation is growing near in the grisly murder trial of the man accused of stabbing five people on the Apple River in July 2022, killing one of them.

Why it matters: The trial has brought to light more details of the tragic incident on a popular tubing river in western Wisconsin.

State of play: Closing arguments will begin Wednesday morning and jurors should begin deliberations in the afternoon to decide if 54-year-old Nicolae Miu of Prior Lake is guilty of one charge of first-degree intentional homicide and four counts of attempted homicide.

Catch up quick: The trial centers around differing accounts of a confrontation on the river between Miu and a group of teenage boys who were calling him a pedophile as he searched for a friend's cell phone.

  • Prosecutors say Miu was never threatened and pulled a knife instead of walking away, stabbing four adult tubers who came to the boys' aid, as well as Isaac Schuman, 17, of Stillwater, who died.
  • Miu's attorneys argued he was acting in self-defense after the two groups surrounded him and began pushing him, knocking him into the water.

What they're saying: Prosecutors showed a graphic three-and-a-half-minute video of the confrontation recorded by Schuman's friend. KARE 11 reporter Lou Raguse, who has been covering the trial, told WCCO Radio that jurors will react differently to the video.

  • "Are they going to think that this group brought the violence upon themselves and that Miu really did fear for his life? Two different people might see it two different ways."

The latest: Miu took the stand on Tuesday and refuted earlier testimony by witnesses, who said he threw the first punch. He said he feared for his life when he pulled the knife, which witnesses said he brought to the river to cut ropes on tubes.

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