Wisconsin Woman Convicted of Homicide for Poisoning Friend with Eye Drops

Jessy Kurczewski found guilty of poisoning her friend Lynn Hernan with eye drops, stealing over $200,000. Greed and financial motives led to a deadly betrayal of trust.

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Muhammad Jawad
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Wisconsin Woman Convicted of Homicide for Poisoning Friend with Eye Drops

Wisconsin Woman Convicted of Homicide for Poisoning Friend with Eye Drops

In a startling case of intentional homicide, 39-year-old Jessy Kurczewski was found guilty in October 2023 of poisoning her friend, 62-year-old Lynn Hernan, with tetrahydrozoline eye drops in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Kurczewski was also convicted of two counts of felony theft for stealing over $200,000 from Hernan before and after her death.

The Waukesha County medical examiner determined Hernan's death a homicide after discovering the presence of tetrahydrozoline, an ingredient in Visine, in her system. Hernan was found dead in her condo in October 2018. Kurczewski initially claimed Hernan was suicidal, but later admitted to bringing her a water bottle loaded with six bottles' worth of Visine.

Prosecutors alleged that Kurczewski's motive for killing Hernan was financial gain, as she had stolen a significant amount of money from Hernan while she was still alive and attempted to acquire more from her estate after her death. The defense argued that Kurczewski was a caring friend looking after Hernan as her health declined, and that Hernan may have taken her own life due to her health problems. However, the jury ultimately found Kurczewski guilty of first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of felony theft.

Why this matters: This case highlights the disturbing reality that even seemingly close friendships can turn deadly when greed and financial motives come into play. It serves as a reminder to be cautious about entrusting others with access to personal finances and assets, even in the context of caregiving relationships.

Prosecutors were satisfied with the verdict and offered condolences to Hernan's family, stating that the verdict sends a clear message that society will not tolerate the intentional act of taking someone's life. Kurczewski is set to be sentenced on December 7, 2023, and faces a mandatory life sentence for the homicide charge as well as an additional 10 years of imprisonment for each count of theft. Before sentencing, an envelope containing handwritten documents attempting to fabricate evidence was received by authorities, but Kurczewski denied writing the documents.

Key Takeaways

  • Jessy Kurczewski, 39, found guilty of poisoning friend Lynn Hernan, 62, with eye drops.
  • Kurczewski also convicted of stealing over $200,000 from Hernan before and after her death.
  • Prosecutors alleged Kurczewski's motive was financial gain, while defense argued she was a caring friend.
  • Jury found Kurczewski guilty of first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of felony theft.
  • Kurczewski faces mandatory life sentence for homicide and additional 10 years for each theft charge.