Jessy Kurczewski convicted of killing friend with poisoned eye drops and stealing $300,000

A Waukesha County, Minnesota, woman was found guilty of poisoning her beautician with eye drops, a jury heard Tuesday.

Jessy Kurczewski, 39, was on trial for murder in connection with the death of her friend, 62-year-old Lynn Hernan.

According to

Court adjourned and resumed Tuesday as jurors deliberated for nearly four hours before finding the defendant guilty of one count of first-degree murder and two counts of theft of chattels over $10,000 but under $100,000.

Prosecutors said Kurczewski stole nearly $300,000 from the beautician.

Kurczewski, who sobbed as the verdict was read aloud by Judge Jennifer Dorow in Waukesha County Court, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for murder and an additional 10 years on the theft charges, which carry a maximum sentence of 5 years each.

Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 7, according to court records.

During a press conference after the hearing, Deputy District Attorney Abbey Nickolie thanked the witnesses and jurors for their service. She said her office was “seeking justice for a life wrongfully taken.”

“The defendant betrayed Lynn out of greed,” he continued. “This case highlighted the financial vulnerability of the victim and what a person will do to get what they want.”

A close friend of Ms. Hernan's, Anthony Pozza, also addressed the conference along with the deputy district attorney.

He described his “aunt” as someone who was not “loner” and “most people's lives come together”. He said he waited five years for justice. Mrs. Hernan was killed in 2018.

“He was a compassionate, humble and very generous person,” she added.

According to the criminal complaint, officers were called to Ms. Hernan's apartment on Oct. 3, 2018, after Kurczewski called 911.

Kurczewski told officials her friend was unconscious and not breathing. A responding officer observed a large amount of crushed medication on Ms. Hernan's chest and on a plate on a table near her. A large quantity of prescription bottles was also found near Ms. Hernan.

Officials initially thought the victim had overdosed on the drug. In January 2019, the Waukesha County Medical Examiner reported that the victim had a fatal dose of tetrahydrozoline, which is the main ingredient in the eye drops, in his system.

As a result, the medical examiner concluded that Ms. Hernan's manner of death was homicide.