Apple River stabbing trial closing arguments, jury deliberations begin

The trial of Nicolae Miu, the man accused of the deadly stabbing on the Apple River in 2022, continues on Wednesday with closing arguments from the prosecution and defense after both sides wrapped their cases on Tuesday following Miu's testimony. 

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, Anthony "Tony" Carlson, Ryhley Mattison and A.J. Martin — on July 30, 2022. 

READ MORE: Key players in Nicolae Miu's trial

The state on Tuesday said it is also seeking lesser charges related to the initial counts. They are: 

  • For count 1 (the death of Isaac Schuman), also consider: second-degree intentional homicide; first-degree reckless homicide; second-degree reckless homicide
  • For counts 2-5 (the stabbings of A.J. Martin, Ryhley Mattison, Anthony "Tony" Carlson and Dante Carlson), also consider: attempted second-degree homicide; first-degree recklessly endangering safety; second-degree recklessly endangering safety
  • For Madison Coen: Battery
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The charges the jury is considering for Nicolae Miu in the Apple River stabbing trial. 

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 eighth day of the trial can be found below. 

4:26 p.m. - Jury requests to adjourn, return Thursday

The jury requested to adjourn. The judge says they will return on Thursday at 8 a.m. The jury also wants to see the cellphone video again Thursday morning, the jury's note said. 

2 p.m. - Jury has a question

The jury was brought back into the courtroom to watch the cellphone video again. The judge pointed out, no one gets to say anything in the courtroom but him.

12:18 p.m. - Judge gives the case to the jury


The closing arguments are done, and the judge gave final notes to the jury before sending them off for deliberations at 12:27 p.m. 

12:04 p.m. - Brian Smestad gives state's rebuttal

St. Croix County prosecutor Brian Smestad gave the state's rebuttal, calling Miu a skilled liar, noting he got caught in lies during his testimony on Tuesday. 

Smestad says it's not the fault of the teenagers. No one is responsible for Miu's choices except for himself. 

11:55 a.m. - Corey Chirafisi gives the defense's closing argument

Miu's defense attorney, Corey Chirafisi, in his closing argument, paints a picture of a group of drunk teenagers led by Jawahn Cockfield who tormented a man who was by himself. The teenagers' actions then attracted the attention of another group, led by Madison Coen, making it a group of 13 on one person — Miu. 

Chirafisi said Cockfield recorded the interaction with Miu because they were drunk teenagers and wanted to make a video and put it on the internet. 

He broke down the first 1 minute, 49 seconds of the interaction on the river, and reminded the jury of what they must consider when weighing self-defense. He then played the cellphone video. 

Chirafisi then discussed the one second that isn't on the video: that Madison Coen was punched or that Miu raised his arm to get her out of his space. Chirafisi highlighted inconsistencies in witness testimony about that moment.

Chirafisi continued to play moments of the cellphone video, pointing out that a 250-pound man had been knocked into the water. And then the group continues to push him into the water, and smack him. 

"It's coming from all sides and from multiple people," Chirafisi said, adding he is "terrified" about what's going on. 

Chirafisi said Miu has never wavered had on that he was defending himself. He may have lied about the knife in the interrogation video, but he did not lie about his fear and that he defended himself, he stressed. 

9:57 a.m. - Karl Anderson delivers closing argument for the prosecution

St. Croix County District Attorney Karl Anderson delivers his closing argument for the prosecution. Anderson highlighted the grainy cellphone video that shows Miu stabbing Dante Carlson in the chest, calling it "retribution" not "self-defense."

Anderson called Isaac Schuman's death "tragic and horrific," pointing out the portions Isaac is seen in the cellphone video. Anderson stressed Miu never mentioned Isaac choked him to the police or to the nurse who examined his injuries in the jail. "Isaac was justified in using any level of force," Anderson said, noting he had just seen Miu stabbing two people "who posed no threat to Nicolae."

"They reacted wrong, but they just didn't invent this whole thing in order to humiliate Nicolae," Anderson said of the teenagers and the encounter with Miu, adding Miu couldn't let it go that he was "insulted." 

Miu was angry — he wasn't afraid, Anderson stressed in his closing argument.

Anderson also discussed memory and credibility, and the difference between getting some details wrong like what hand was used and making up an entire story, like Miu did in his interrogation video from jail. 

"This all started when Nicolae punched Madison," Anderson said. 

Anderson called Miu's actions "horrific" and "senseless," saying walking up to Dante Carlson when he had a clear path to retreat refutes any self-defense argument. 

Watch the prosecution's full closing argument above. 

8:45 a.m. - Judge delivers jury instructions

After a brief break, the judge delivers jury instructions. The state will then give its closing argument. Each side has an hour to give their closing.

Here are the jury instructions: 

8 a.m. - Court goes back on the record

Attorneys returned to the courtroom around 8 a.m. Wednesday to further discuss changes to the jury instructions. The jury isn't expected to return until around 8:30 a.m.

READ MORE: Apple River stabbing trial Day 7: Nicolae Miu testifies, state seeks lesser included charges

The prosecution moved to dismiss one of the jurors, a woman, because they were nodding off during testimony on Tuesday. John Shilts, the lead investigator in the case, testified, saying she was startled awake multiple times over an hour. This happened when Miu's interrogation video was being played in court, Shilts testified. 

The judge did not dismiss the juror.