Wisconsin Woman Who Poisoned Friend with Eyedrops Sentenced to Life

2024-04-06 16:04:53

A Wisconsin woman who fatally poisoned her friend and stole nearly $300,000 from her has been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted on first degree intentional homicide charges for the 2018 crime.

Jessy Kurczewski “bawled” in court while she made a nearly two-hour-long statement maintaining her innocence to the Waukesha County Circuit Court on Friday, the Daily Mail reported.

The 40-year-old woman was found guilty of murdering family friend Lynn Hernan, 62, in October 2018 by giving her a water bottle containing a fatal dose of tetrahydrozoline, the main ingredient in Visine eye drops, before manipulating the crime scene to appear as a suicide.

She then drained Hernan’s accounts of $290,210 by fraudulently paying herself with the victim’s money.

Hernan’s body was discovered by police on October 3 after Kurczewski called emergency services to report her as being “unresponsive,” the outlet stated.

She was eventually arrested on July 9, 2019, despite claiming Hernan either died of suicide or an accidental overdose.

She was found guilty first degree homicide on November 14, 2023.

Judge Jennifer Dorow showed her no mercy during the latest hearing, handing down a lengthy sentence that would only open up for release eligibility after Kurczewski has served 30 years.

“It is a lot to be accused and convicted of murder, when I didn’t do it. It won’t bring her back, and it won’t make her loss any easier,” Kurczewski, who was reportedly the victim’s caregiver, sobbed during her testimony.

“You’re holding me responsible for what she did — those were her decisions, her choices, her actions, and no one else’s, not even mine.”

“I think the criteria that I have when I think about, not only the seriousness of the offense but the need to protect the public, that’s one of the key factors here,” Dorow said, according to WISN.

The judge went on to highlight how old the felon will be once she is eligible for supervised release.

“That would make you, without the theft charges, close to 70 years of age, older than what Lynn would be today. Physically older, I think 30 years is a pretty significant amount of time,” she said. “But my target is really 80 for you. That is why on counts two and three, you are going to serve maximum sentences, consecutive to count one and consecutive to each other.”

The judge added, “There’s really not anyone who’s safe from you when it comes to your willingness to steal, to defraud.”

A friend of Hernan’s, James Keliher, gave a powerful impact statement.

“Your Honor, Jessy cruelly murdered my friend, Lynn Hernan. I’d like the court to sentence Jessy to life in prison no chance of parole, ever. If Wisconsin had the death penalty I would be asking you for that,” he said, according to Court TV.

Victim Impact Statements: WI v. Jessy Kurczewski, Eye Drops Murder Trial

“The devil awaits you… I hope you rot in hell.” James Kelliher and Anthony Posa, friends of murder victim Lynn Hernan, deliver their victim impact statements “[Lynn] was taken out due to selfish greed.”#JessyKurczewski was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole after 40 years.#CourtTV – Was #justice served? #EyeDropsMurderTrial

Posted by COURT TV on Friday, April 5, 2024

Keliher claimed that Hernan’s murderer also killed several of her pets, and took advantage of her financially.

“Jessy had other plans, she looked up online how to kill someone and not get caught. I believe Jessy started poisoning Lynn in 2016 and stealing Lynn’s money and her property. Jessy poisoned Lynn like she was a rodent,” the heartbroken man continued.

He went on to dispute Kurczewski’s claim that Hernan overdosed.

“Lynn was not a junkie or a coward, that was Jessy. She continued to poison Lynn until she passed away,” he said, before accusing the convict of being “pure evil.”

“… the Devil lives inside her,” Keliher said. “She tried to steal Lynn’s identity which could never happen because of the simple fact that she is too damn ugly.”

He continued on to say he hopes she “rots in hell.”

She’s the worst of humanity, she’s a useless human being. She’s a known liar, she’s a thief, and now she’s a convicted murderer.

Jessy, when you get to your new home I hope you’re taken advantage of and treated like you treated Lynn and passed around like a used piece of meat.

Life in prison without parole is the least of your worries. Women’s prison is gonna feel like a Holiday Inn compared to where you’re headed. The Devil awaits you. I hope you rot in hell.

Kurczewski’s legal team argued that Hernan would have thought that her friend being accused of killing her is “crazy.”

“If Lynn Hernan was there today, she would say, ‘Are you crazy, prosecution?’” lawyer Pablo Galaviz said.

Donna Kuchler, also one of Kurczewski’s defense attorneys, said Hernan gifted her client money “all the time” so she would have no reason to steal.

“Giving money to Jessy made her happy. Jessy was like her daughter,” she claimed.

The convicted murderer’s lawyers argued that Hernan died from a combination of pain medicine, but that was not corroborated by the medical examiner’s report, which showed they found tetrahydrozoline in her system.

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Wisconsin Woman Who Poisoned Friend with Eyedrops Sentenced to Life


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