St. Croix County stabbing suspect pleads not guilty to charges

52-year-old Nicolae Miu is accused of killing a teenage boy and hurting four other people on July 30.
Nikolai Miu appeared in St. Croix County Circuit Court on Friday, Sep. 2, 2022. Miu is accused...
Nicolae Miu appeared in St. Croix County Circuit Court on Friday, Sep. 2, 2022. Miu is accused of stabbing 5 people in the Apple River on July 30, 2022, killing 1 person.(WEAU)
Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 12:46 PM CDT
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HUDSON, Wis. (WEAU) - The man charged with killing a teenage boy and hurting four other people in St. Croix County pleaded not guilty to the charges against him during his arraignment Thursday.

52-year-old Nicolae Miu of Prior Lake, Minn., who is being held at the St. Croix County Jail on a $1 million cash bond, is charged with one count of 1st-degree intentional homicide and four counts of attempted 1st-degree intentional homicide after allegedly stabbing five people on the Apple River on July 30.

In addition to the five original charges of homicide or attempted homicide, a new charge of battery with the use of a dangerous weapon was added prior to Thursday’s arraignment.

In the preliminary hearing Sept. 2, the prosecution, led by Karl Anderson, laid out its evidence for the charges. One witness, a detective who had reviewed cell phone video of the incident, took the stand during the hearing. St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Michael Waterman found enough evidence to schedule the arraignment.

Miu is represented by Madison-based attorney Corey Chirafisi. Chirafisi was part of the defense team in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial in which Rittenhouse was acquitted of charges against him after a deadly shooting in Kenosha in the summer of 2020.

A search warrant and related documents were sealed prior to the preliminary hearing, according to online court records.

Miu is accused of stabbing and killing 17-year-old Isaac Schuman of Stillwater, Minn. Schuman’s family has set up a GoFundMe. Four other victims, a 24-year-old woman from Burnsville, Minn., a 22-year-old man from Elk River, Minn., and a 20-year-old man and 22-year-old man from Luck, Wis., suffered serious or critical torso or chest injuries, according to the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office.

According to court documents filed with the case, Miu told investigators he feared for his life after several people advanced towards him and accused him of being a child molester while he was searching for a lost cell phone in the Apple River on July 30. He told investigators he approached a group of people who were tubing on the river to ask if they had found the phone and after telling Miu to go away, the conflict escalated. Witnesses told investigators that Miu initiated the physical confrontation by punching a woman in the group. An investigator reviewing video of the incident said that Miu reached for a knife in his pocket, but Miu said that the knife had been taken away by one of the people in the group before he got it back.

In the criminal complaint filed with the charges, Miu maintained he was acting in self-defense, telling investigators he wanted to “get out” after someone tried to push him down and another person tried to pull down his swim trunks. Miu said he had a heart condition and wasn’t good health, and wanted to get away because he feared for his life. When he was told one person had died and four others were hurt, Miu told investigators that his whole life was “down the tubes” and that he was sorry for how things ended up.

The Sheriff’s Office said in an initial release that multiple people had been stabbed upstream from the Highway 35/Highway 64 bridge in the Town of Somerset at 3:47 p.m. on July 30. Deputies found five people with stab wounds when they arrived on scene. Two of the stab victims were flown to hospitals while two others were taken by ambulance. The fifth, Schuman, was pronounced dead at a hospital in Stillwater, Minn. After a short search, Miu, who was part of a group that had been tubing on the river, was taken into custody near the pick-up point for tubers coming down the Apple River.

Miu, who remains in custody, is held on a $1 million cash bond that includes conditions of not being allowed to possess dangerous weapons, must maintain absolute sobriety, must surrender his passport and is restricted from a half-mile from each victim’s home.

A status conference has been scheduled for Nov. 1, the next court date in the case.

Nicolae Miu
Nicolae Miu(St. Croix County Jail)

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