Kenosha judge raises Chrystul Kizer’s bond in homicide case after she racks up new charges

Bond in the case is now set at $750K in the high-profile case

A blue sky backdrops the Kenosha County Courthouse
Cars are parked outside the Kenosha County Courthouse on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, in Kenosha, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

A Kenosha County judge is increasing the bail for Chrystul Kizer, who’s charged with killing a man who sexually abused her when she was underage.

Circuit Court Judge David Wilk agreed Tuesday to set Kizer’s bond in that 2018 case at $750,000 cash, after the district attorney’s office argued it should be raised to be $1 million.

Kizer, now 23, faces multiple felonies, including first-degree intentional homicide in the 2018 killing of Randy Volar.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Volar had been sexually abusing Kizer, and her attorneys plan to argue for her acquittal by citing a state law that shields trafficking victims from being prosecuted for crimes committed as a “direct result” of their trafficking.

The case has brought international attention to the issue of sex trafficking, especially against Black women and girls.

Kizer, who is Black, was 17 when authorities say she shot and killed Volar, a 34-year-old white man, before setting fire to his house and fleeing in his car.

In 2020,Wilk agreed to reduce Kizer’s bond from $1 million to $400,000. She was released from jail after activist groups raised funds to post the $400,000.

Kizer racks up new charges including felony bail jumping

But now, Kizer is back in custody after prosecutors said she violated the terms of that bond earlier this year by committing additional crimes and by fleeing the state without informing the court of her new address.

U.S. marshals arrested Kizer in Louisiana in February. In January, prosecutors in Milwaukee County had charged her with disorderly conduct after an incident at a Milwaukee home.

According to a criminal complaint, Kizer told dispatchers a man there had tried to rape her. When police arrived, Kizer said she had discovered that the man was a convicted sex offender and that he had lied to her about why he was on supervision.

While police were there, Kizer threatened the 47-year-old man, tried to hit him with a baseball and resisted arrest, the complaint alleges.

As a result of those incidents, Kenosha County prosecutors have filed a total of five felony bail jumping charges against Kizer in a separate 2024 case. In March, a court commissioner set her bond on those charges at $60,000.

Kizer is currently being held in the Kenosha County jail, and her attorneys argued Tuesday that her pre-existing bond is enough to ensure she continues to appear in court.

Kenosha County District Attorney Mike Graveley told WPR he asked for Kizer’s bond to be raised, instead of trying to have it forfeited or repaid, because he wanted to ensure money is available later on if Kizer is ordered to pay restitution to Volar’s family.

Judge denies motion to combine 2018, 2024 cases

Also on Tuesday, Wilk denied a motion from Graveley which would have combined the 2018 and 2024 Kenosha County charges into one case to be heard by jurors at a single trial.

Graveley said the new bail jumping charges are relevant to the earlier charges against Kizer “because they go directly to (her) credibility.”

He said he plans to file an additional motion, asking the court to let jurors during the homicide trial consider evidence from Kizer’s other actions.

That trial is currently set for June, although Kizer’s attorneys are asking for that start date to be pushed back. They cited issues with the availability of an expert.