WAUKESHA, Wisconsin — Five years after a 62-year-old woman was poisoned by a lethal dosage of eye drops, a Waukesha County jury convicted a 39-year-old woman for her murder.
The trial that has colloquially become known as the “Eye Drops Murder Trial” reached a conclusion on Nov. 14 that Jessy Kurczewski is guilty of the 2018 first-degree intentional homicide of Lynn Hernan and two counts of theft.
Over the course of the two week trial, prosecutors said that Kurczewski poisoned Hernan, whom Kurczewski was entrusted to care for, in an attempt to defraud Hernan out of nearly $300,000.
Prosecutors argued that Kurczewski meticulously staged the scene to make it appear as if Hernan had died by drug overdose, possibly as a suicide.
Hernan died after consuming a water bottle laced with six bottles of Visine eye drops. Kurczewski initially told the police that Hernan had been suicidal and had been attempting to end her own life by ingesting Visine mixed with vodka, according to the criminal complaint.
Following the verdict, Deputy District Attorney Abbey Nickolie said the trial had been “seeking justice for a life that was unjustly taken.” The verdict is “a step toward closure to all those who grieve Lynn,” Nickolie said.
Anthony Pozza, a friend of Hernan, told the Milwaukee Sentinel that the whole ordeal since Hernan’s death had been “five years of stress.” Pozza testified during the trial about the financial motivation behind the crime.
Kurczewski faces a mandatory life sentence for the homicide and up to five years for each theft count.