On Monday, a trial began in Queens, New York, for a woman alleged to have attempted to murder her friend and doppelgänger with a slice of poisoned cheesecake in an attempt to assume her identity.
Assistant District Attorney Konstantinos Litourgis informed the jury that Russian national Viktoria Nasyrova’s DNA was found all over the scene of the incident, including on the container that the cake came in, nearly seven years after the attempt on the life of Olga Tsvyk, an eyelash stylist.
District Attorney Justin Litourgis spoke to the jury, gesturing toward defendant Viktoria Nasyrova. Litourgis stated that Nasyrova had come up with a calculated plan to isolate Olga Tsvyk in order to poison her, kill her, and steal her identity and other possessions.
He also noted that a cheesecake container with the drug Phenazepam was found to have the defendant’s DNA on it. Litourgis concluded that in addition to testimony from civilian witnesses, the jury would learn of the incriminating evidence found on the container.
According to reports from Law&Crime, the accused, Nasyrova, visited her friend Tsvyk’s home with a gift of a cheesecake from a well-known bakery. Allegedly, Nasyrova had contaminated the dessert with the drug Phenazepam, expecting her friend to fall into a deep slumber and never wake up again. Phenazepam, a type of benzodiazepine, is manufactured largely in Russia.
The woman quickly fell ill and began throwing up. She was experiencing hallucinations and, when she realized what was happening, discovered that many of her belongings had been taken from her room – approximately $4,000 in cash, a red bag, a treasured ring, and, importantly, her Ukrainian passport and her employment authorization card that gave her permission to work in the United States. According to Litourgis.
In court, prosecutors accused Nasyrova of staging the crime scene to make it seem that Tsvyk had attempted suicide. They also stated that upon her arrest, she was in possession of Tsvyk’s passport. Litourgis further stressed that the case was serious and not a joke, claiming that Nasyrova had intended to kill the woman and steal her identity.
He added that the prosecution would be calling a witness to testify that Nasyrova had drugged and robbed him in 2016 and that the man’s symptoms mirrored those of Olga.
The District Attorney’s Office also said that Nasyrova was attempting to avoid being sent back to her home country because of an accusation of drugging and killing her neighbor before setting the body on fire and running away to America.
In response, Nasyrova’s defense lawyer, Christopher Hoyt, declared that the case was not as straightforward as the prosecution had made it seem, comparing it to a movie that failed to live up to the hype.
Nasyrova is charged with a multitude of crimes, the most serious being attempted murder, burglary, and unlawful imprisonment. If convicted, she could face a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.