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Verdict possible Thursday in Nicolae Miu's Apple River stabbing trial

Jury may decide Nicolae Miu's fate on Thursday
Jury may decide Nicolae Miu's fate on Thursday 01:03

UPDATE (11:15 a.m. Thursday) — Nicolae Miu has been found guilty of multiple criminal charges, including homicide, in the 2022 Apple River stabbings in Wisconsin. Read the updated story here.

HUDSON, Wis. — It's now up to the jury after eight days of testimony in the Apple River stabbing trial. 

They could soon decide whether to convict 54-year-old Nicolae Miu of killing 17-year-old Isaac Schuman and hurting four others during a fight on the river on July 30, 2022, near Somerset.

The question for the jury isn't whether Miu killed Schuman. Instead, it's this: Did he pull out his knife because he wanted to hurt people or did he do it in self-defense?

RELATED: Who is Nicolae Miu, man on trial for killing 1, stabbing 4 on Apple River?

Forty witnesses testified during the eight-day trial, with the key piece of evidence being a cellphone video recorded by one of the victim's friends. The jury asked to see it twice on Wednesday during deliberations.

Nicolae Miu Aaron Lavinsky | Star Tribune

WCCO spoke on Wednesday with Aaron Nelson, one of Miu's defense attorneys.

"What would somebody in his shoes feel in that moment and believe in that moment," Nelson said. "And the jury's being asked to stand in his shoes and look out and see what he saw, hear what he heard, and maybe feel what he felt."

Jurors do have the option of convicting Miu on lesser charges than intentional homicide. Court deliberations are expected to start Thursday at 8 a.m.

WCCO will have live coverage throughout the trial, which you can watch in the video above, on CBS News MinnesotaPluto TV or the CBS News app on your phone or connected TV.

Thursday's jury deliberations

The jury asked to watch a cellphone video again on Thursday morning. After one viewing, Judge Michael Waterman dismissed the jury and asked that they continue their deliberations.

Day 8 recap

Prosecutors unsuccessfully moved to strike a juror Wednesday morning who they said fell asleep repeatedly while watching a video of Miu being interviewed by law enforcement during Tuesday's proceedings. Judge Waterman said the juror would have the opportunity to watch the video again in the deliberation room.

RELATED: Video of Nicolae Miu's police interview shown during Apple River stabbing trial: "I feared for my life"

Waterman then spent about an hour giving the juror its instructions before prosecutor Karl Anderson gave his closing arguments. Anderson repeatedly underlined that Miu could've just walked away, claiming he was the aggressor who provoked the "senseless and horrific" violence.

Anderson said Miu knew what he did wasn't in self-defense because he initially tried to "slink away" from law enforcement near the river and repeatedly lied to investigators. He also said Miu falsely claimed two of the teens were armed, not him, and he used one of their knives to protect himself.  

Apple River Stabbing Trial: Verdict for Nicolae Miu expected as soon as Thursday morning 01:28

In the defense's closing arguments, attorney Corey Chirafisi stressed that Miu was surrounded by 13 people who were taunting and threatening him.

"You have to look at those 14 seconds through Nic Miu's eyes as he was standing there in the river," Chirafisi said. "He told you (on Tuesday) that he believed he was going to die, but he doesn't have to believe that. He just has to believe that he's going to suffer serious bodily injury."

Chirafisi said the jury has to decide if Miu's "mental purpose is to kill Isaac Schuman," and while Miu did lie to investigators, he never wavered in his claim of self-defense.

After a rebuttal by prosecutors, the jury was handed the case. After deliberating for some time, the jury asked to review the cellphone videos before adjourning for the day.

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