Jury convicts woman of fatally poisoning her friend’s water with eye drops

A jury convicted a Wisconsin woman of fatally poisoning her friend's water with eye drops and stealing nearly $300,000 from her. (WTMJ, FAMILY PHOTOS via CNN)
Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 8:19 PM AKST
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WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) - A jury on Tuesday convicted a Wisconsin woman of fatally poisoning her beautician friend’s water with eye drops and stealing nearly $300,000 from her.

Jessy Kurczewski, 39, of Franklin, told investigators she gave Lynn Hernan a water bottle filled with six bottles of Visine in 2018, according to a criminal complaint. A Waukesha County jury found her guilty Tuesday of first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of theft in connection with Hernan’s death, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Kurczewski’s attorneys did not speak with reporters following the verdict.

Hernan was found dead in her Pewaukee condo in October 2018 with crushed medication on her chest. According to a criminal complaint, Kurczewski called police and said her friend wasn’t conscious or breathing. Kurczewski said she was a family friend and had been checking on Hernan daily. She had said there was a possibility Hernan was suicidal.

The Waukesha County medical examiner ruled Hernan’s death a homicide after discovering tetrahydrozoline, an ingredient in Visine, in Hernan’s system.

When investigators told Kurczewski that Hernan was poisoned and the scene was staged to look like a suicide, she said it was what Hernan wanted and she must have staged her own suicide, according to the complaint. Kurczewski later told investigators she brought Hernan a water bottle loaded with six bottles’ worth of Visine, according to the complaint.

Detectives also eventually concluded Kurczewski stole $290,000 from Hernan.

Kurczewski is set to be sentenced Dec. 7. The homicide charge carries a mandatory life sentence. The theft charges each carry a maximum five years in prison.