Apple River stabbing trial: Nicolae Miu's wife testifies

Nicolae Miu's wife Sondra Miu testified Wednesday in her ex-husband's homicide trial, saying she still loves him.

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

Sondra Miu testified she met Nicolae at work, Ritchie Engineering, in about 2007. They started dating in 2008, and they got married in 2011. She testified she still loves him. 

She was with him tubing down the Apple River on July 30, 2022. She said Nicolae brought a knife to cut the strings to tie the tubes together, at the request of a friend, but she thought he put the knife away in the Jeep before they went down the river. She did not see him use the knife at other points in the day, she testified. 

She testified the reason why Nicolae had a snorkel and goggles on the river is because she told him not to wear any jewelry because it would likely fall off in the cold Apple River water. So he brought the gear to search for lost jewelry. 

At one point, Ariel Chaguez Leyet's phone — which was providing music for the day — fell in the water, Sondra Miu testified, noting Nicolae Miu was looking for the lost phone. At some point, Sondra Miu saw the teenagers around her husband, and then Ariel and Ernesto Torres Chaguez walked toward them. She testified she didn't see anything else – Ariel and Ernesto just brought Nicolae Miu back. She then saw the police come and people were screaming. She also saw someone on the riverbank, she said, and someone receiving what looked like CPR. 

After the incident, she said the mood was "quiet" while they finished tubing down the river. She wasn't sure if Nicolae Miu was talking to one of their friends as they finished the trip. 

"I've been trying to block this out," Sondra Miu said. 

She confirmed to the prosecution in her testimony that Nicolae Miu was frustrated with his group of tubers because they did not respond to his yells for help that day on the river, but Sondra Miu said they couldn't hear him over the sound of the water. 

She testified she was not worried about Nicolae Miu's intoxication level the day of the stabbing, nor anyone else in their tubing group. 

You can watch her full testimony from Wednesday in the player above. 

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's cell phone in the river but was confronted by tubers who said he was acting sketchy. 

The encounter escalated, and he apparently punched a female 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, which indicated there were potentially four or five victims with wounds to the mid to upper body. 

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."