Nicolae Miu found guilty in fatal stabbing death of teen in river tubing brawl

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A US man was convicted on Thursday for fatally stabbing a teen and attacking four others during a deadly water tubing brawl on a Wisconsin river.

A jury found Nicolae Miu, from Minnesota, guilty of first-degree reckless homicide, four counts of recklessly endangering safety, and one count of battery for the 2022 stabbing rampage that killed 17-year-old Isaac Schuman, according to The Star Tribune.

Miu, 54, stabbed four other people in Schuman’s group on the Apple River near Somerset in Wisconsin, following an encounter that was sparked by a search for a missing mobile phone.

The defendant had claimed he was acting in self-defence after the group taunted him and accused him of being a paedophile.

He had reportedly told police that the group of young men and women between 17 and 24 had attacked him, and claimed he “was in self-defence mode”.

The man lashed out with a knife used for cutting ropes as the group surrounded and taunted him while he looked for a lost mobile phone with a snorkel while tubing with his wife.

The St. Croix County District Court panel in Hudson, handed down the verdict after ruling out a more serious charge of first-degree intentional homicide.

Still, defence lawyer Aaron Nelson reportedly said he was surprised and “respectfully disappointed” by the decision of the jury: which consisted of six women and six men.

“In many ways, self-defence is a community standard,” Nelson said, according to the Minneapolis newspaper. “And it’s very dependent upon which group of 12 people within the community you ask.”

Alexander Martin, Dante Carlson, Anthony Carlson and Rhyley Mattison were also stabbed during the fracas and Madison Coen was attacked, prosecutors said.

Miu had reportedly claimed he pushed Coen because she was yelling at him and in his personal space, but witnesses said he punched her, starting the deadly fight, which was caught on camera by one of Schuman’s friends.

Some three dozen witnesses, including the defendant himself, had taken the stand during the eight-day trial.

Prosecutors contended that Miu “snapped” out of anger.

But defence lawyers said he had felt scared, trapped, and vulnerable following a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery two years earlier.

Miu faces more than 100 years in prison at his sentencing, which will be set at a future date, according to KSTP-TV.

“I just want to thank all our supporters, our family, law enforcement, people that have supported us that we don’t even know throughout the country, state of Minnesota, wherever,” Donny Hernandez, a spokesperson for the victims’ families, said outside court, according to the station.

“It’s been 21 months we’ve been waiting for justice for Isaac Michael Schuman,” he added, his voice breaking, “and we got it today, so I just want to tell everybody I appreciate all your love and support”.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission