A Wisconsin teen held in jail for two years for the murder of her alleged sex trafficker has been released on bail after $400,000 was raised by groups including the Milwaukee Freedom Fund. The fund worked with the Chrystul Kizer Defense Committee, Chicago Community Bond Fund, and the national Survived & Punished coalition, which will use the returned bail money to establish a national bail fund for criminalized survivors of domestic and sexual violence once the case ends, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Chrystul Kizer, a 19-year-old black woman who was 17 when she shot and killed Kenosha resident Randall P. Volar III in June 2018, is awaiting a September status conference. She's charged with first-degree intentional homicide but could plead guilty to felony murder, or murder in the act of robbery, which doesn't carry a mandatory life sentence.
Kizer was 16 when she posted an ad on a prostitution forum, per the Sentinel. She was contacted by 33-year-old Volar, who would be charged with abusing several underage black girls in February 2018. A few months after he was released on bail, Kizer—who'd suffered a year of abuse—shot and killed him, set fire to his house, and fled in his vehicle. She later told the Washington Post that she'd refused sex and Volar pinned her to the floor. A petition demanding Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley drop all charges has received almost 1 million signatures. But Graveley says supporters don't know all the facts. Court documents refer to premeditation and a Facebook post in which Kizer posed with a pistol and said she was not afraid to kill again, per the New York Times. Still, Graveley says Kizer won't be "incarcerated for decades," considering her age and "the offenses that Mr. Volar committed against her." (Read more homicide stories.)