True Crime News Roundup: Teen With ‘Infectiously Positive Aura’ Fatally Stabbed While Tubing Down Wisconsin River
Plus: Georgia college professor accused of killing incoming freshman; jury awards two parents of slain Sandy Hook first grader $4.1 million; South Carolina couple arrested for 2010 cold case murder in Kansas; four Kentucky officers federally charged in connection with Breonna Taylor’s death.
A teenager is fatally stabbed while tubing down a river in Wisconsin, police say.
A high school student died and multiple people were critically injured when a man allegedly attacked them while they were on the Apple River near Somerset, Wisconsin.
According to the St. Croix County Sheriff's Office, on the afternoon of July 30, Nicolae Miu, 52, allegedly stabbed 17-year-old Isaac Schuman and four others — three men and one woman in their 20s.
Schuman died at an area hospital. The other victims were expected to survive what authorities said were “serious to critical injuries to their torso/chest areas.”
A criminal complaint obtained by the Hudson Star-Observer notes witnesses gave varying accounts of the events leading up to the deadly incident.
Miu’s wife claimed she and the suspect were tubing with friends when someone from their group lost a cell phone and Miu went back to look for it. According to his wife, Miu was wearing goggles and using a snorkel to search for the device near a bridge when a group of males “got off their tubes and started hitting Nicolae,” deputies wrote in the complaint.
Miu’s wife also claimed her husband told her people were accusing him of being a child molester, the complaint states.
Other witnesses, however, claimed to investigators that Miu was harassing a group of juveniles and a male with a second group who tried to intervene punched Miu after Miu allegedly slapped a female, the complaint states.
The witnesses said Miu then began attacking tubers with a knife, deputies wrote in the complaint.
One onlooker snapped a photo of Miu, and authorities apprehended him at the exit point down the river from where the incident occurred, the sheriff’s office said.
Miu was charged with first-degree intentional homicide, and four counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, WQOW-TV reported.
During questioning, Miu claimed that he acted in self-defense and feared for his safety after he had to take a knife away from one tuber who attempted to pull down his swimming trunks and others hit him and called him a child molester, the complaint states.
“I don’t know why they were being so mean,” he allegedly told police, according to the complaint, which states he asked: “Why did they want to scare me with a knife?”
Miu was being held on $1 million bond. If convicted, he faces life in prison on the homicide charge and up to 60 years behind bars on each of the attempted homicide charges.
In a statement to KARE-TV, family said Schuman, an honor roll student about to enter his senior year at Stillwater High School in Minnesota, “entered every room with a big smile, infectiously positive aura, and lifted everyone around him up.”
“He had an incredibly bright future ahead of him and we are all heartbroken and devastated beyond words that his future has been tragically and senselessly cut short,” the statement reads.
WCCO-TV reported that at an Aug. 3 vigil, Jake Schuman said his brother gave loved ones “the best 17 years of our lives.”
“I hope everyone can take a piece of Isaac and implement it into your own lives,” he said.
“Isaac,” he added, “you're my best friend forever and I love you more than you know.”
A professor is arrested in connection with the death of a recent high school graduate.
A former professor at the University of West Georgia is accused of killing an incoming freshman in an off-campus parking garage following a dispute he got into at a nearby restaurant.
According to online jail records, Richard Sigman, 47, faces charges of murder, and three counts each of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime in connection with the fatal July 30 shooting of 18-year-old Anna Jones.
Shortly after midnight on July 30, officers with the Carollton Police Department responded to an area hospital after receiving a call about a woman suffering a gunshot wound.
Police said a preliminary investigation indicated Sigman and another male “got into a verbal altercation” at Leopoldo’s Pizza, and “the male notified security that Sigman threatened to shoot him.”
Security noted Sigman was armed and told him to leave the restaurant, according to police.
“The investigation then indicates Sigman walked into the parking deck and began shooting into a parked vehicle, striking the victim,” police said. “Friends immediately drove her to the hospital where she was pronounced deceased.”
Sigman, who has been fired from his job at UWG, was being held without bond at the Carroll County jail.
A jury determines conspiracy theorist Alex Jones should pay over $4 million to the parents of a Sandy Hook massacre victim.
A jury in Austin, Texas, has awarded $4.1 million dollars to Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of a first-grader killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newton, Connecticut, for the mental anguish Alex Jones caused them.
Jones, 48, once claimed on his radio and internet platform InfoWars that the massacre that took the lives of 26 children and school employees, was “synthetic, completely fake with actors” and “manufactured” as a way to diminish gun rights, NPR reported.
A judge found Jones was found liable for defamation last year.
During Jones’ two-week trial, Lewis, the mother of 6-year-old victim Jesse Lewis, told the conspiracy broadcaster that “my son existed.”
“You're still on your show implying that I'm an actress, that I'm deep state,” she said in court, "and I don't understand. Truth is so vital to our world.”
Heslin told the jury about “the living hell” his family endured as they dealt with everything from stalkers to death threats they “had to endure because of the recklessness and negligence of Alex Jones” over the nearly 10 years since his son died.
A couple is arrested in South Carolina in connection with the 2010 murder of a college student in Kansas.
Authorities announced they’ve arrested a couple suspected of murdering a college student in Kansas 12 years ago.
On July 31, investigators with the Butler County Sheriff’s Office traveled from the state to Simpsonville, South Carolina, where they worked with local law enforcement to apprehend Kristopher Valadez and Candace Valadez, both 32, for the February 2010 killing of 19-year-old German Clerici.
According to the sheriff’s office, Clerici’s mother reported him missing after she had not heard from him for days.
A short time later, Clerici was found shot to death in a culvert in Butler County. The victim’s missing car was located in Wichita over four months later.
In 2021, Butler County Sheriff Monty Hughey asked investigators to take a fresh look at the case that had gone cold.
“Information was discovered that prompted investigators to conduct follow-up interviews uncovering even more information along with new evidence,” the sheriff’s office said.
Kristopher and Candace Valadez, who lived in Wichita around the time of the murder, were both booked into the Greenville County jail. They are expected to be extradited back to Sedgwick County in Kansas to face charges.
Law enforcement officials have not revealed what new evidence investigators uncovered or a possible motive for the slaying.
Four officers face federal charges over two years after the shooting death of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky.
Four former and current officers with the Louisville Metro Police — Brett Hankison, 46, Joshua Jaynes, 40, Kelly Goodlett, 35, and Kyle Meany, also 35 — were charged with federal civil rights offenses as well as unconstitutional use of force, obstruction and conspiracy in connection with the 2020 shooting death of Breonna Taylor, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Aug. 4, CNN reported.
“I share but cannot imagine the grief of the family and loved ones of Breonna Taylor from events that resulted in her death ... Breonna Taylor should be alive today,” Garland said.
In March 2020, Taylor, 26, was fatally shot after she and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were awoken during a police raid.
Officers serving a “no knock” warrant at her residence in Louisville claimed they announced their presence, but Walker denied the claims, saying he and Taylor believed intruders were attempting to break in.
Walker, a licensed gun owner, fired what he said was meant to be a warning shot, which struck Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly in the thigh.
Officers Mattingly, Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove are accused of blindly responding with a barrage of 32 bullets, striking Taylor multiple times and killing her.
“Every day's been March 13 for me,” Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, said after the announcement.