Apple River stabbing trial Day 1; graphic video released

The trial of Nicolae Miu, the man accused of the deadly stabbing on the Apple River in Wisconsin in 2022, began Monday with jury selection, opening statements, and the state's first two witnesses. 

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 on July 30, 2022. 

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

3:20 p.m. - Victim's friend Ryan Nelson testifies, graphic video released

The state called its second witness, Ryan Nelson, to testify. Nelson was friends with Issac Schuman, who was killed in the Apple River stabbing. 

RELATED: Apple River stabbing trial: Video of deadly fight shown in court

As part of his testimony, the prosecution played a video showing the stabbing. The video starts with Miu running toward a group of tubers, with people saying "Get away from us" and "Walk away," before the group of teens eventually surrounds Miu, yelling at him. The teenagers push Miu into the water, hitting him before he pulls out his knife (watch the graphic video above). 

Before the stabbing, Nelson said he and his friends met at Stillwater High School before heading to the Apple River. They rented tubes at River's Edge, noting they brought beers and seltzers on the river. He drank three to four beers, and he and others were smoking marijuana. 

Nelson said Miu was snorkeling by their tubes and they asked him what he was doing but he didn't respond. Miu eventually approached their group. Nelson said he didn't see anyone in his group with a weapon, but they were calling Miu names. 

Nelson was on the stand for more than an hour. 

3 p.m. - State calls first witness: Stephen Kaufman, River's Edge owner

Stephen Kaufman, owner of River's Edge Campground in New Richmond, was the first witness in Miu's trial. River's Edge is where Miu and his friends stayed along the Apple River, and is one of the central locations of the deadly tubing encounter. 

During his testimony, Kaufman discussed locations along the Apple River, as well as how long it can take to tube down the river. He was working on July 30, 2022. 

2:28 p.m. - Apple River stabbing victim's BAC revealed

During the opening statements, defense attorney Aaron Nelson said Isaac Schuman's blood-alcohol content at the time of his autopsy was 0.219. This is the first time this number has been revealed.

2:15 p.m. - Defense Attorney Aaron Nelson gives opening statements

Aaron Nelson, a notable Hudson, Wisconsin, attorney, presented his opening statement in defense of Miu. Nelson describes Miu as the son of an immigrant who was going out on the river with friends who encountered a group of "drunk" teenagers when he was looking for his friend's phone. He also said the teenagers' account of the story does not match up with what was recorded on cell phone video taken by Jawahn Cockfield.

1 p.m. - St. Croix County District Attorney Karl Anderson's opening statements

Opening statements began Monday afternoon after the jury was sworn in. Karl Anderson, St. Croix County, Wisconsin, District Attorney, gave his opening statement first, laying out the state's case against Miu. 

11 a.m. - Jury selection ongoing

The court took a recess at 10:30 a.m. A pool of 28 perspective jurors has been finalized and questioned by the prosecution. That pool consists of 19 men and nine women. The judge dismissed six potential jurors — one man and five women — for everything ranging from scheduling conflict, one had a spouse who is a sheriff's deputy and three women said they were uncomfortable with the graphic evidence that would be presented at trial. 

Next, the defense will question the jury pool. 

Miu is in court, dressed in a suit and tie. He sat with his head down and avoided eye contact. 

Court records, witnesses detail what happened

In the days following the deadly stabbing, authorities and court filings began detailing how the river, a popular destination for summer floats and daytime drinking, became a grisly crime scene.

"I was so scared and just so worked up and anxious," Ryhley Mattison told FOX 9 at the time. "It is insane that things can escalate so fast."

Mattison spoke via Zoom from her hospital bed shortly after she was one of five people stabbed.

Isaac Schuman was killed. The 17-year-old’s death left his family and community shattered.

"I know Isaac can’t come back to me physically. But with his spirit, I will always feel him with me," his mom, Alina Hernandez, said at a vigil days later.

Mattison, then 24, reported suffering a punctured lung, with her diaphragm and stomach badly damaged from the knife wound.

"I thought I was going to lose my life too," explained Mattison.

The district attorney’s office quickly filed homicide and attempted homicide charges against Miu, who lived in Prior Lake. He was tubing that day with his wife and a group of friends.

Prosecutors maintain Miu was the aggressor and could have retreated from the encounter.

Miu, now 54, remains jailed, awaiting trial after pleading not guilty, claiming self-defense.

In court filings, Miu said he was simply using snorkel gear to search the river for a lost cell phone when a group of tubers instigated the confrontation by calling him obscene names. Miu claims they attacked him in the water, and he feared for his life.

Critical cell phone video capturing more than three minutes of what happened before and after the stabbings is expected to be played in court.

Mattison, who acknowledged she was drinking on the river, is expected to testify under oath when the trial starts in Hudson next week.

"I was irritated to hear about the self-defense thing because whether or not we were in the wrong for going over and confronting him, he still was the one to make the first move," Mattison said at the time. "He still could have walked away. He could have done anything like that. That is what irritates me the most."