Wisconsin Supreme Court to decide if trafficking defense applies to homicide

NOW: Wisconsin Supreme Court to decide if trafficking defense applies to homicide

MADISON, Wis. (AP/CBS 58) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to consider whether a woman can argue she legally killed a man under a state law that absolves sex trafficking victims of their crimes.

Prosecutors allege Chrystul Kizer shot Randall Volar in the head at his Kenosha home in 2018.

Kizer has alleged that Volar had been sexually assaulting her and trafficking her to others.

Kizer's attorneys want permission to argue at trial that her actions were justified under a 2008 state law that absolves sex trafficking victims of any offense committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

"(The Legislature) certainly could have limited it to certain, certain types of crimes, but they did not do so," Katie York, Kizer's attorney, said.

Prosecutors have countered that the law can't possibly extend to homicide.

"The state does not believe that killing someone to get out of a trafficking situation is what is contemplated under the statute," Timothy Barber, a prosecutor, said.

Julius Kim, a local criminal defense attorney, explained the argument all comes down to the wording of the law.

"I personally think that a big reason why we're in this situation in Wisconsin is because the statute, the affirmative defense, was not artfully written. It didn't include or exclude homicide within the statute itself," Kim told CBS 58.

Kim explained the justices' interpretation of the law will carry significant impact, from the way laws are written to arguing future cases.

"I think (other states) are paying close attention to see if our Supreme Court will be allowed this affirmative defense to be used in homicide cases, which is a big step," Kim said.

The justices were set to hear arguments in the case Tuesday and issue a ruling at a later date.

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