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By LeAnn R. Ralph
HUDSON — A preliminary hearing in St. Croix County Circuit Court has been scheduled September 2 for a Minnesota man charged in connection with an incident on the Apple River that left one dead and four injured.
Nicolae Miu, age 52, of Prior Lake, Minnesota, appeared in court August 12 with his attorneys Aaron Nelson and Corey Chirafisi before Judge Michael R. Waterman for what had initially been scheduled as a preliminary hearing.
Miu is charged with five felonies that include one count of first degree intentional homicide and four counts of attempted first degree intentional homicide.
State law requires a mandatory sentence of life in prison upon conviction for first degree intentional homicide.
During a preliminary hearing, witnesses are called, and following their testimony, a judge determines whether there is probable cause to believe a felony has been committee and that the defendant probably committed it, and the defendant is bound over for trial.
By state statute, Miu has a right to speedy preliminary hearing within 10 days of his initial appearance in court, Judge Waterman said.
Miu waived his right to a speedy preliminary hearing during the August 12 hearing.
The preliminary hearing on September 2 is scheduled at 9 a.m.
Bail was set at $1 million cash during Miu’s initial appearance in court August 1.
St. Croix County District Attorney Karl Anderson asked the court to modify the conditions of the cash bail by adding the provision that Miu must surrender his passport to the St. Croix County clerk of court if Miu posts the cash bail.
Judge Waterman ordered the surrender of Miu’s passport as a condition of bail at the August 12 hearing.
Miu was still in custody as of August 12.
Other conditions of bail are that Miu is not to use or possess a dangerous weapon and that he is to have no contact with the complaining witness and Victims 2, 3, 4 or 5 or Victim 1’s family.
The conditions of bail also require Miu to maintain absolute sobriety and to be fitted with a SCRAM alcohol testing unit.
According to the company’s website, “Like a breathalyzer for the ankle, the SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM CAM) bracelet provides 24/7 transdermal alcohol testing.”
In addition to the SCRAM alcohol monitor, the conditions of bail require Miu to submit to random alcohol testing at least four times per day.
The conditions of bail also require Miu to be fitted with a GPS monitoring device and that he may not be within a half mile of any of the victim’s residences.
One of Miu’s attorney’s, Aaron Nelson, was the attorney for Ezra McCandless, who was convicted by a jury in October of 2019 for the first degree intentional homicide of Alexander Woodworth in the Town of Spring Brook in Dunn County.
McCandless was subsequently sentenced to life in prison by Dunn County Judge James Peterson.
Miu’s other attorney, Corey Chirafisi, was one the attorneys for Kyle Rittenhouse.
Rittenhouse was charged with five felonies in connection with shooting two men to death and wounding a third in Kenosha during protests in August of 2020.
Rittenhouse was acquitted on all counts by a jury in November of 2021 after claiming self-defense.
According to the news release from the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department, the St. Croix County Emergency Communication Center received a call about 3:47 p.m. July 30, reporting that several people had been stabbed on the Apple River while recreational tubing, just upstream from the state Highway 35/64 bridge in the Town of Somerset.
Deputies arrived and located five people with stab wounds to their mid-sections.
According to the criminal complaint, deputies who responded to the Apple River found one victim without vital signs and with a puncture wound in the upper abdomen near his left breast. Victim 1 was later pronounced deceased.
Victim 2 had a slash wound to his abdomen that was exposing internal organs from the inside of his body.
Victim 3 had a stab wound to the lower left abdomen.
Victim 4 had a laceration on his stomach and a puncture wound to his upper left torso.
Victim 5 had a stab wound to the upper left side abdomen.