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Wisconsin River Tubing Tragedy: Stabbing Suspect Convicted Despite Self-Defense Claim in Fatal Teen Fight

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Nicolae Miu, who stabbed a high-school student to death and injured four others in a fight that took place on a Wisconsin River during which he claimed self-defense, was found guilty Thursday.

On July 30, 2022, Miu, the other tubers, and Isaac Schuman (17) were tubing down the Apple River when a fight broke out. Isaac Schuman died.

Miu was found guilty of four counts of recklessly putting safety at risk, reckless homicide, and battery after eight days of court testimony and forty witnesses.

According to the Associated Press, investigators in court documents wrote that Minnesota native Miu had attacked the group because people accused him of approaching children with a goggle and snorkel. However, Miu claimed that he had been looking for a phone in the water and attacked the group in self-defense.

The video shown to jurors shows Miu appearing to punch a woman who was in the group. This appears to have started the altercation. The AP reported that after he fell into the water he was seen reemerging with a knife, stabbing one of his friends.

Before the attack, someone in the crowd was seen approaching Miu and saying that he “was looking for little girls”. Another witness recorded a video earlier of a shirtless Miu holding onto the tube of a group before someone shouted for him to run away.

Defense attorneys claimed that the group taunted Miu, and swarmed him in a scene which “quickly became… 13 against one,” KARE 11 reports.

Corey Chirafisi, a defense attorney, said: “A group of drunk teenagers… saw the opportunity to torture a man alone.” “They did it for no legitimate reason.”

According to documents obtained by Minnesota Public Radio, Miu was also tubing down the River with his wife and friends.

Miu, when asked if he should have pulled out the knife that was on display in front of jurors, said “Absolutely.” He also stated that he would “have been killed” that day if he hadn’t acted.

According to the AP, he said: “They attacked me.” “I was in self-defense mode.”

St. Croix County district attorney Karl Anderson called Miu’s actions a “senseless act of violence,” and said that “all Nicolae Miu needed to do was walk out.”

NBC Chicago reported that Miu told police initially that one of the two boys pulled out a blade.

Miu admitted that this was a falsehood later: “As I’m sure you can tell, I was confused”, Miu told the outlet in court.

NBC Chicago reported that jurors asked to review the video again before deciding the case.

According to the AP, defense attorney Aaron Nelson expressed his “respectful disappointment” at Thursday’s verdict. Miu said he was “sad and disappointed,” and was “contemplating” his future.

Schuman, a senior at Stillwater High School, was described by his family as an honors student who was about to apply to several colleges to study electrical engineering.

The date of Miu’s sentencing has yet to be scheduled.

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