Woman Found Guilty of Lacing Friend’s Water with Eye Drops

WAUKESHA, Wis. – A woman from Waukesha County, Wisconsin, has been convicted of first-degree intentional homicide and felony theft after poisoning her friend and embezzling nearly $300,000 from her. Jessy Kurczewski, 39, now faces a life sentence for her crimes.

The incident occurred in 2018 when Lynn Hernan, a woman in her 60s, was found dead in her recliner with crushed medication on her chest. Initially believed to be an overdose, the Waukesha County medical examiner later determined that Hernan had died from a lethal dose of Tetrahydrozoline, the main ingredient in eyedrops.

Kurczewski, who was arrested in 2019, had changed her story multiple times in interviews with law enforcement. At first, she claimed Hernan was known for using eye drops in large quantities and had staged her own suicide with crushed pills. However, Kurczewski later stated that Hernan had been experimenting with Visine and vodka cocktails to try and end her life, and that she had provided her friend with a water bottle containing six bottles of Visine after a heated argument.

Further investigation into Kurczewski’s finances uncovered that she had transferred over $100,000 of Hernan’s savings into her own account. Prosecutors argued during the trial that Kurczewski saw Hernan as more valuable dead than alive, showcasing the victim’s financial vulnerability and the defendant’s greed.

Kurczewski’s lawyers did not offer any statements to reporters after the verdict. However, during the trial’s opening statements, one of her attorneys suggested that Hernan’s death could be explained by her fondness for eye drops, implying that Kurczewski had no involvement.

Kurczewski’s sentencing is scheduled for December 7, where she will face a mandatory life sentence for the homicide conviction.