Apple River stabbing trial Day 5: Miu's friend testified, he 'defended' himself

The trial of Nicolae Miu, the man accused of the deadly stabbing on the Apple River in 2022, continues Friday with witness testimony, a day after testimony that included the release of body camera footage and law enforcement accounts of the investigation.

READ MORE: Key players in Nicolae Miu's trial

Nicolae Miu, 54, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and multiple counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide that could send him to prison for life if he is convicted. He is accused of killing Stillwater, Minnesota, native 17-year-old Isaac Schuman and wounding four others — Dante Carlson, Tony Carlson, Ryhley Mattison and A.J. Martin — on July 30, 2022. 

The seven witnesses who testified in the Apple River stabbing trial on Friday, April 5, 2024. 

READ MORE: Timeline of what happened

You can watch the trial live in the player above and on FOX 9's YouTube channel. Updates on the fifth day of the trial can be found below.

Isaac Schuman's family reacts to evidence during the Apple River stabbing trial. (Elizabeth Flores, Pool via Star Tribune)

RELATED: Recap of Day 4 of the Apple River stabbing trial

3:52 p.m. - Amber Lind, forensic scientist, testifies

Amber Lind, a DNA analyst/forensic scientist at the state crime lab in Wisconsin, is the 36th person to testify in the trial. She discussed how you can determine if a person's DNA is on a piece of evidence. She listed off the evidence collected in this case, and the DNA profiles collected. 

She testified the knife found in the riverbank was swabbed for DNA, finding it likely Isaac Schuman's and Dante Carlson's DNA profiles were on the knife. The knife also had blood on it.

2:06 p.m. - Ariel Chaguez Leyet, whose phone fell in the river, testifies: Miu ‘defended’ himself

After some concerns over witness sequestration that prompted the judge to read instructions to the Spanish-speaking witnesses, Ariel Chaguez Leyet took the stand to testify. He is the 35th witness to testify, and the last of the witnesses who require an interpreter. Ariel is another witness called out of order by the defense to accommodate the interpreter. He's the second defense witness. 

Ariel is cousins with Ernesto, and he has known Miu for a little over five years, he testified. He said Miu has a character of "peacefulness."

Ariel was part of Miu's tubing group on July 30, 2022. His girlfriend dropped his phone in the river while tubing down the Apple River, prompting Miu to go looking for it with the snorkel — swimming in the direction the water was flowing, Ariel testified. The phone wasn't found that day, but Ariel does have his phone now — police found it and it was returned to him, Ariel testified. 

Ariel Chaguez on Friday testified in the Apple River stabbing trial that Nicolae Miu defended himself. 

Ariel testified Miu's wife said Miu was in trouble, so his girlfriend told him to go look to see what was going on. Ariel said he walked downriver toward where Miu was. Ariel testified he saw Miu getting bullied by a group of young people, who were hitting him and threw his snorkel. Someone then pushed him down and hit him but then Miu "defended" himself, Ariel testified. 

Ariel testified it happened quickly and there was a lot of blood, noting it was hard to make sense of what he was seeing and what was happening. Ariel made his way back to the group, and Miu eventually made his way back to the tubes as well. 

11:06 a.m. - Ernesto Torres Chaguez, a witness for the defense and Miu's friend, testifies

Ernesto Torres Chaguez, a witness for the defense, testified as the first witness for the defense and the 34th witness overall. He testified out of order to accommodate schedules and testified via an interpreter. 

Ernesto was tubing with the Miu group on July 30, 2022, and has known Miu for over 10 years, calling Miu his best friend. He considers Miu a handyman, noting he has used a pocket knife to fix things. He called Miu the day they went tubing to bring his pocket knife so they could cut the ropes that tie the tubes together once they got done tubing. Ernesto said he didn't have one, so he asked Miu to bring one because he knew he had one. 

Ernesto testified Miu has a character of peacefulness and was not worried about Miu having a knife on the river. 

While on the river, Ernesto described how Miu's wife told him Miu was in trouble and what he witnessed. When Miu walked back to the group, Ernesto testified he saw someone try to approach and they pointed at him. Ernesto tried to stop that person from approaching their group and said he was worried — he didn't know what had happened prior to Miu's return to their tubing group.

When Miu returned to the group, Miu looked worried and pale, Ernesto testified. He just sat on the tube and didn't say anything, Ernesto said.

When they got to the end of the tubing ride, the police asked Miu to come with them and Miu went, Ernesto testified. He said they were in shock because they didn't know why they were detaining Miu.

Watch his full testimony and the cross-examination above.

10:45 a.m. - Tatiana Ruiz Leyva testifies

Tatiana Ruiz Leyva, an Apple River tuber and witness, testified on Friday via an interpreter. She is the 33rd person to testify. She went tubing with the Miu group on July 30, 2022. She testified she saw people on the river with bloody injuries but did not see what led to that — she wasn't looking in that direction. 

After the fight, Miu was coming from the water "normal," she testified. The tube ride to the exit was "very quiet" and Miu didn't say anything. 

In response to the defense's questions, she testified Miu was not angry that day — "he was just fine."

She testified before Miu went to look for the phone the group was having fun, but when he returned the fun was over. 

9:45 a.m. - Sergio Ruiz Leyva testifies

Sergio Ruiz Leyva, an Apple River tuber and witness, testified via a translator on Friday. He is the 32nd person to testify. 

After the fight, Sergio testified Miu looked pale and his eyes were wide open when he returned to the group, noting Miu didn't talk anymore. 

8:54 a.m. - Alba Rosa Torres testifies

Alba Rosa Torres is the 31st person — the second person of the day — to testify. She testified via an interpreter. Alba was part of Miu's tubing group and took video while going down the river, which was shown in court on Friday. 

She said she was scared because she didn't know where the person was who hurt the people in the river, she testified. 

8:36 a.m. - Gilma Constanza testifies

Gilma Constanza, a Spanish-speaking witness, testified via an interpreter. She was part of the Miu tubing group. 

8 a.m. - Court expected to resume

Court was expected to resume at 8 a.m. Friday. The pool camera feed is having technical difficulties, and we'll start streaming as soon as possible.