Woman guilty of killing her friend with eye drops

WAUKESHA, WI – In a verdict that stirred a Waukesha County courtroom, 39-year-old Jessy Kurczewski was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide. Charged with spiking her friend’s water with fatal amounts of eye drops, the jury reached the decision following two days of deliberation.

Along with the accusation of homicide, Kurczewski also faced charges for theft, all of which she was found guilty of on Tuesday. Kurczewski, who had continually proclaimed her innocence, could not contain her emotions as the verdict was decreed.

Her charges stemmed from the 2018 case involving the death of Lynn Hernan, her 62-year-old friend. Hernan was found dead amidst a scene suggesting a drug overdose at her Pewaukee home. In addition, Kurczewski was accused of extracting nearly $300,000 from Hernan over the two years leading up to her passing.

Initially discovered lifeless in October 2018, surrounded by medication residues, Hernan’s death raised the specter of suicide driven by health implications. Kurczewski, who was friends with and cared for Hernan, alerted the police about the grim discovery. She stated that Hernan could have taken her life dealing with her health ailments.

However, the circumstances turned a corner when tetrahydrozoline, commonly contained in over-the-counter eye drops, was detected at lethal levels in Hernan’s toxicological examination. The revelation prompted officials to reconsider the case, leading to Kurczewski’s arrest in June 2021.

Pointing toward Kurczewski’s beneficiary status in Hernan’s will, prosecutors argued that the defendant valued Hernan’s death more than her life. In response, the defense countered that it was none other than Hernan who had consumed the eye drops with vodka.

Nickolie, Waukesha County Deputy District Attorney, praised the medical examiner’s vital contribution while pointing out the defendant’s greed and the victim’s financial vulnerability. Scheduled to face a mandatory life sentence, Kurczewski awaits her sentencing date.

Hernan’s friend, Anthony Pozza, expressed his relief that after years of distress, justice has been served.