Chrystul Kizer may have a chance at being acquitted of charges stemming from a murder she committed in 2018. The revelation is a direct result of the Wisconsin Supreme Court voting 4-3 that sex trafficking victims can not only be absolved of crimes committed directly relating to trafficking, but also first-degree murder.
“Unlike many crimes, which occur at discrete points in time, human trafficking can trap victims in a cycle of seemingly inescapable abuse that can continue for months or even years,” said the court’s ruling.
Kizer admitted to fatally shooting her alleged trafficker, Randall P. Volar, 34, setting his home on fire, and stealing his vehicle. She has been in jail for six years facing the possibility of a life sentence. She is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and four other felonies. Kizer was 17 when she killed Volar. She claimed he sexually assaulted her, and several other underage girls, on multiple occasions, as well as sold her to various men for sex.
Volar had previously been arrested for enticement and sexual assault of a child. At the time of his death, he was being investigated by the Kenosha police for alleged sex crimes involving minors.
Prosecutors argue that Kizer planned the murder. Some of their evidence includes messages she sent to Volar days before the incident, she had a police scanner app, and brought the loaded gun to his home. Kizer, however, has long claimed that she did not plan on killing him. She has also stood by her story that she only fired the weapon as a result of Volar being on top of her, and trying to rip her pants off.
The state high court’s ruling means Kizer will finally have the chance to present evidence that the murder was an act of self-defense, and not premeditation. “Chrystul Kizer deserves a chance to present her defense and today’s decision will allow her to do that,” Kizer’s attorney, Katie York, said during a hearing on Wednesday (July 6). “While the legal process on this matter is far from over, we, along with Chrystul and her family, believe the decision today affirms the legal rights provided by Wisconsin statute to victims of sex trafficking facing criminal charges.”
A judge ruling that evidence presented on Kizer’s behalf does in fact prove self-defense means her argument can be presented to a jury. A jury determining Kizer acted out of self-defense would equal the acquittal of some, or all, charges against her.