Woman Guilty of Killing Friend With Eye Drops

Jury finds Jessy Kurczewski guilty of homicide, theft
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 7, 2021 2:01 PM CDT
Updated Nov 14, 2023 6:35 PM CST
Woman Accused of Killing Friend With Eye Drops
A screen shows Lynn Hernan during the trial of Jessy Kurczewski at the Waukesha County Courthouse, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023, in Waukesha, Wisconsin.   (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)
UPDATE Nov 14, 2023 6:35 PM CST

A Wisconsin woman has been found guilty of killing a friend in 2018 by poisoning her with eye drops. A jury found Jessy Kurczewski, 37, guilty of one count of homicide and two counts of theft, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. She will face a mandatory life sentence on the homicide charge when she is sentenced next month. During Kurczewski's trial, defense attorney Donna Kuchler argued that 62-year-old beautician Lynn Hernan was in pain due to multiple health issues and decided to give her friend a lot of money before using the Visine eye drops to take her own life. Prosecutors said Kurczewski "betrayed Lynn out of greed" and stole nearly $300,000 from the woman before poisoning her.

Jun 7, 2021 2:01 PM CDT

Prosecutors have accused a suburban Milwaukee woman of killing her friend by poisoning her with eye drops. Jessy Kurczewski, 37, was charged Friday with homicide and two counts of felony theft, according to online court records. A criminal complaint shows the case began in 2018 when Kurczewski called police to her friend's Pewaukee home, saying her friend wasn't breathing, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The complaint doesn't name the friend. A deputy found the woman in a recliner with crushed medication on her chest. Investigators initially thought she had overdosed. Kurczewski said there was a possibility her friend was suicidal, reports the AP.

Toxicology tests showed the woman had a fatal dose of tetrahydrozoline, the main ingredient in eye drops, in her system. When investigators told Kurczewski tetrahydrozoline killed her friend and the scene was staged to look like a suicide, Kurczewski said it was what her friend wanted and she must have staged her own suicide. Later, Kurczewski told investigators she brought her friend a water bottle loaded with six bottles' worth of Visine. She didn't think it would kill her friend because she had been "drinking it regularly for so long." Detectives eventually concluded Kurczewski committed $290,210 worth of fraud. That included about $130,204 that was believed to have been "transferred fraudulently" by check from the victim to Kurczewski, according to the complaint.

(More murder stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.