A Kenosha Judge today, ruled that a interview of homicide defendant Chrystul Kizer will not be admitted in her trial. Kenosha County Circuit Judge David P. Wilk in an oral ruling today, found that two Kenosha Police detectives should have re-read Miranda warnings to Kaiser while she was in custody before questioning her. Therefore, everything that Kaiser said in the interview from October 26, 2018, isn’t going to be allowed into Kizer’s murder trial next year.
Kizer is facing a mandatory life sentence for allegedly shooting her alleged sex trafficker, Randall Volar III on June 5, 2018. He was being investigated at the time for serious crimes including sexual assault of children and possession of a plethora of child porn. On June 9, 2018, Kizer agreed to waive her right to self-incrimination and counsel before she had an attorney and gave detectives her version of the incident, where she admitted to shooting Volar, lighting his home on fire, and stealing his car. She was read her Miranda rights at this interview.
Kizer first appeared in court on June 11, 2018 and a temporary bail was set in the amount of $1 Million. On June 13, 2018, she was officially charged with murder, along with other felonies.
On or about October 26, 2018, Kizer sent a note to the Kenosha Police Department indicating that she wished to speak with detectives and cooperate. Two Kenosha Police detectives went to the jail the next day, October 26, 2018 to speak with her. The interview lasted for almost one hour and 40 minutes. The detectives never read Kizer her Miranda rights or called her attorneys.
The defense attorney argued, simply, that the detectives erred in not reading Miranda warnings. The prosecution argued that Kizer, herself, initiated the contact.
“The common thread in the evolution of the law in this area which invokes both the fifth and sixth amendments, is the need to balance police flexibility in investigating criminal activity, with the fundamental fair treatment of criminal defendants,” said Judge Wilk. “Waivers of counsel must not only be voluntary, but must also constitute a knowing and intelligent relinquishment or abandonment of a known right or privilege… Ultimately, the issue before this court is whether the defendant freely, voluntarily, knowingly and understandingly waived her fifth and sixth amendment rights as guaranteed by Miranda, and the cases that followed it. This court would be hard-pressed to conclude that a proper waiver occured when the defendant was not advised of those rights. For the reasons stated herein, the defendant’s motion to suppress is granted.”
In the second interview, Kizer gave police a different version of events than her first interview, blaming her boyfriend for some of her actions. Police didn’t believe her new story. The jury will not hear about Kizer changing her version of events.
Reached by email after the ruling, Kenosha County DA Mike Graveley indicated that even with today’s ruling, the state’s case is still very strong. Kizer is due back in court on January 18, 2023 for a motion hearing, where the spring trial will likely be scheduled.