The teenager who filmed a deadly stabbing on the Apple River two years ago spoke in St. Croix County Circuit Court on Tuesday, testifying that he turned his cellphone camera on to record a stranger who was "looking kind of suspicious."

Less than three minutes after Jawahn Cockfield started recording that day, five people were stabbed in an explosion of violence that took the life of Cockfield's friend Isaac Schuman, 17.

The graphic video is now the central piece of evidence in the trial of Nicolae Miu, a 54-year-old Prior Lake man charged with Schuman's death and the attempted murder of four others on July 30, 2022.

In testimony on Tuesday, Cockfield described how his friends encountered Miu, started asking him questions, and soon found themselves in a stand-off in knee-deep water. In the video Cockfield can be heard laughing as tensions escalate, not fully unaware of what's taking place as things rapidly turn deadly.

"As you're recording that, do you see Miu take a knife out of his pocket?" asked Deputy District Attorney Brian Smestad.

"Not at the time," Cockfield said.

The day's testimony included several witnesses, some of whom were involved in the confrontation with Miu, including stabbing victim Dante Carlson. Carlson, who can be seen in the video punching Miu and knocking him to the ground in shallow water, opened his shirt from the witness stand to show the scar where Miu plunged a knife into Carlson's lower torso soon after he stood.

Miu's attorneys questioned each of the witnesses about their behavior that day, portraying Cockfield and Schuman's other friends as unnecessarily antagonistic as they called Miu names. Cockfield and others in Schuman's group testified that they heard Miu make a comment about "looking for little girls," and said it was that comment that started the confrontation. Throughout testimony on Tuesday, Miu's attorney Corey Chirafisi hammered at witnesses about the alleged "little girls" comment, saying it wasn't captured on video and that witnesses didn't say anything about it to police after the incident.

Miu's defense has argued Miu was in fear for his life as 13 people circled near him on the river while calling him a "raper" and a "predator," among other things.

Miu, who plead not guilty to the charges and has claimed he was acting in self-defense, sat quietly next to his attorneys Tuesday.

Turning to portions of the video throughout the day, both the prosecution and defense evoked raw emotions from the witnesses as the stabbings were shown again and again. Alex Vang, one of Schuman's close friends, was brought to tears as he recalled racing to his friend's side after he fell into the river clutching his side.

"When I picked him up, I noticed he had a huge gash in his chest that was bleeding out," Vang said.

When the prosecution asked Vang if he remembered who stabbed Schuman, he pointed at Miu.

"He's right there," he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Schuman's mother, Alina Hernandez, testified about the last time she saw her son alive. She had put sunscreen on his ears and told him to go have fun with his friends on the Apple River, the Stillwater woman tearfully recalled Tuesday morning in court.

Hernandez said she was enjoying coffee on her deck with her sister-in-law when Isaac asked if he could go tubing. She said yes, but then told him she was planning to ask him to go to the airport to pick up her husband, Donny Hernandez.

"He said, 'I can pick Dad up,'" Hernandez told the court, "And I said, 'No, just go have fun with your friends on the river.'"

It was just a few hours later that Hernandez got a call from one of Isaac's friends telling her about the stabbing. She and Donny quickly drove to the spot on the Apple River where emergency crews were still helping the stabbing victims. Hernandez said she saw an ambulance when they arrived and she ran to it thinking that it was treating her son, only to learn that it was another stabbing victim. Then she saw a group of people performing CPR on a person lying on the riverbank, and she recognized her son's hair.

She ran to him but saw that he was already gone.

"When you got to Isaac, was it clear he was already deceased?" asked St. Croix County District Attorney Karl E. Anderson.

"Yes," said Hernandez.

The trial before St. Croix County Circuit Court judge R. Michael Waterman is expected to last two weeks. Miu faces a charge of first-degree intentional homicide in Schuman's death, and four counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the stabbings of Rhyley Mattison, A.J. Martin, Dante Carlson, and Tony Carlson. Miu faces the possibility of life in prison.