A Kenosha man who was shot to death in his 14th Avenue home last June had been under investigation for producing child pornography and sexual abuse, with one of the girls involved the teenager now charged with homicide for his shooting death, according to defense attorneys.
Chrystul Kizer, 18, is charged with first-degree homicide, arson and auto theft for the June 5 shooting death of Randall Volar III. She was 17 when Volar was killed. Volar, 34, was found dead in his burning home. Investigators learned he had been shot twice, and that the fire to the house appeared to have been set. When his body was found, Volar’s car was missing from the property.
“Not only do you commit a set of really heinous crimes, you light a body on fire, when you’re not sure if the person’s deceased or not,” said Michael Graveley, Kenosha County district attorney.
“Certainly if you come to this community from another community and shoot someone twice in the head and then light them on fire, there’s going to be severe consequences,” said Graveley.
Investigators said they’re still trying to determine exactly how Kizer met Volar, and the extent of their relationship after they found that out that Volar had paid for an Uber driver to bring Kizer from Milwaukee to his home.
According to the criminal complaint, Kizer’s boyfriend, a 21-year-old Milwaukee man, told detectives he had purchased a handgun for Kizer because she was “tired of the dude touching on her” and that she was going to shoot him.
The complaint states that she initially denied knowing Volar, but later told police that “he (Volar) helped her with money and places to stay.” Subsequently, she told police another woman shot Volar. But when faced with further evidence, she reportedly confessed, saying “she got upset and was tired of Volar touching her” and that she had shot him.
According to a motion filed by defense attorneys, before his death Volar was under investigation by the Kenosha Police Department for sexual conduct with underage girls.
In a motion to compel discovery — that is a request for the court to require the state to turn over evidence — the defense is seeking evidence found during the police investigation into Volar.
“The defense believes that the discovery in this case suggests that Ms. Kizer acted in self-defense. Mr. Volar, a 34-year-old man, was engaged in the ongoing sexual and physical abuse of Ms. Kizer, then a 17-year-old girl, and several other girls whose identities are currently unknown to the defense.”
According to the motion, the defense believes Volar attempted to engage in sexual activity with Kizer, and Kizer resisted. Further, during that struggle, Kizer at some point shot Volar, killing him.
The complaint states the defense learned Volar had been under investigation by the Kenosha Police, and police had served a search warrant on his home before the murder.
“The Kenosha Police had evidence that Mr. Volar was producing child pornography, and that he was traveling to Milwaukee, or transporting girls from Milwaukee to Kenosha for the purposes of sexual abuse,” the motion states.
It states that police “collected significant evidence of Mr. Volar’s malfeasance” when they executed the search warrant on his home before his death, and that they had collected his DNA. “Additionally, the Kenosha Police had been alerted by TCF Bank, a financial institution utilized by Mr. Volar, that Mr. Volar’s account had been flagged under suspicion of being involved in human or sex trafficking.”
The defense is seeking all evidence relating to the Kenosha Police investigation of Volar. They argue that the evidence is relevant to Kizer’s mindset at the time she is alleged to have killed him and “has the potential to provide a significant bolster to the defense’s primary theory of self-defense.”
At a hearing Monday, District Attorney Michael Graveley said the state would be opposing the release of the evidence the defense is seeking. He asked for — and was granted by the judge — an opportunity to make the state’s argument in a written brief.
Asked by Judge David Wilk whether at least some of the material the defense is seeking exists, Graveley answered that it does.
The discovery process requires both sides of a legal action to share evidence as they prepare for trial. In criminal prosecutions, the state typically has the bulk of the evidence.
Both the state and defense in the Kizer case would not comment on the Volar investigation beyond what was stated in court. In its motion, the defense suggests that the state may argue that the evidence collected in the Volar investigation is only “potentially useful evidence” and so not required as part of discovery.
“Such an argument should be rejected,” the defense stated.
They will return to court to argue the issue Nov. 30.