Woman Convicted of Poisoning Friend with Eye Drops and Stealing $290,000 Sentenced to Life in Jail

Apr 19, 11:00 PM

In a culmination of a chilling case that has gripped Waukesha, Wisconsin, Jessy Kurczewski, 40, was handed a life sentence for the first-degree intentional homicide of her friend, Lynn Hernan. Judge Jennifer Dorow delivered the verdict on Friday in a Waukesha courtroom, leaving Kurczewski relatively emotionless until she broke down during her nearly two-hour-long testimony.
Kurczewski's crime came to light in October 2018 when authorities found Lynn Hernan unconscious in her recliner with crushed medication and prescription bottles nearby. What initially seemed like a tragic accident soon turned into a homicide investigation as the Waukesha County Medical Examiner discovered a fatal amount of tetrahydrozoline, the main ingredient in eye drops, in Hernan's system.
According to the criminal complaint filed in June 2021, Kurczewski, who was presented as a family friend, had been checking in on Hernan regularly. She initially suggested the possibility of Hernan being suicidal but later denied any involvement in her death, claiming she had saved Hernan from herself in the past.
However, further investigation revealed disturbing details. Kurczewski confessed to giving Hernan a water bottle laced with six bottles of Visine, believing it wouldn't kill her since Hernan had been consuming eye drops regularly. This revelation led to Kurczewski's conviction of premeditated murder and theft.
During the sentencing hearing, Judge Dorow emphasized the severity of Kurczewski's crimes, handing down the maximum sentences for theft charges and stating her intent to keep Kurczewski incarcerated until she was no longer a threat to society.
The courtroom was filled with emotional outbursts from Hernan's loved ones, who expressed their disdain for Kurczewski. James Keliher, one of Hernan's friends, labeled Kurczewski as a "monster" and urged the court to impose a harsher sentence, expressing his belief that Kurczewski had systematically poisoned Hernan for years while exploiting her financially.
Keliher's statement encapsulated the sentiments of many present, describing Kurczewski as "pure evil" and wishing her a fate fitting for her heinous crimes.
Late last year, her lawyers were allowed to withdraw from the case after a jailhouse letter penned by Kurczewski surfaced.

The lengthy cursive document even attempts to implicate one of the defendant’s lawyers — though it doesn’t say which one.
“I trust you and whether you help or not this is something I need you to take to your grave,” the letter said. “Even this envelope didn’t go out through jail mail, my attorney took it. This was one of my attorneys [sic] ideas and clearly they arent [sic] going to tell anyone.”

Nobody has her on voice recording. She has an older, raspy, smokers [sic] cough and was sick. Female voice. Always coughing and smoking. I feel like theres [sic] programs online to change voices — theres [sic] so much technology these days, she was sick and did it 2 days before her death, nobodys [sic] going too knoow if its [sic] her or not, its [sic] been 5 years … Honestly you could even have a movie or music on in the background to help distract. She always had one on and loud — I would just be cautious that its [sic] music (she loved Gaga) or a movie from before her death if you do that so it doesn’t raise a red flag. Like Pretty Woman, Ms. Doubtfire, Wizard of Oz — would be, her favorite!
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