Apple River stabbing verdict: Nicolae Miu found guilty

Nicolae Miu was found guilty on six charges in his Apple River stabbing trial on Thursday, including first-degree reckless homicide in the killing of 17-year-old Isaac Schuman on July 30, 2022.

After seven days of testimony and more than 40 witnesses, a jury found Miu, 54, guilty in his trial, which began on April 1.

He was convicted of the following charges: 

  • First-degree reckless homicide of Isaac Schuman
  • First-degree recklessly endangering safety of A.J. Martin
  • First-degree recklessly endangering safety of Dante Carlson
  • First-degree recklessly endangering safety of Tony Carlson
  • First-degree recklessly endangering safety of Ryhley Mattison
  • Battery of Madison Coen

Nicolae Miu after he was found guilty in the Apple River stabbing trial.  (Elizabeth Flores, Pool via Star Tribune)

Isaac Schuman's family spoke outside of court, thanking their supporters, law enforcement and others. Donny Hernandez, Isaac's dad, got choked up, saying "Justice for Isaac."

In a brief statement outside of court on Thursday after the verdict was read, Miu's defense attorney Aaron Nelson said they are disappointed in the result. 

After the verdict was read, St. Croix County District Attorney Karl Anderson said Miu could face nearly 100 years in prison, but it's ultimately up to the judge. 

Miu will remain in jail until he is sentenced. His sentencing date could be in about six weeks but a date hasn't been set, Anderson said. 

The charges Miu faced

Miu was initially charged with first-degree intentional homicide and multiple counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide that could have sent him to prison for life if he had been convicted. The state on Tuesday said it was also seeking lesser charges related to the initial counts. They were: 

  • 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, 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

Apple River stabbing: What happened

According to court records, the stabbing took place on the Apple River near the Sunrise Bridge in Somerset, Wisconsin, which allegedly started after Miu was apparently looking for a friend, Ariel Chaguez Leyet's, cell phone in the river but was confronted by tubers who said he was acting sketchy. 

READ MORE: Key players in Nicolae Miu's trial

The encounter escalated, and another group of tubers came over. He apparently punched a female, Madison Coen, on the left side of her face before Miu was punched, eventually leading to the stabbing.

Witnesses began calling 911 at 3:47 p.m. on July 30, 2022, which indicated there were potentially four or five victims with wounds to the mid to upper body. 

READ MORE: Timeline of what happened

A 24-year-old woman from Burnsville, Minnesota, a 20-year-old and 22-year-old man from Luck, Wisconsin, and a 22-year-old man from Elk River, Minnesota, were injured in the attack. But, 17-year-old Schuman died from his injuries.   

According to the criminal complaint, Miu claimed the attack was self-defense. He said he was "so fearful" for his safety, adding he wasn't sure what the people in the river were going to do to him, and "everything happened so fast."