Convicted Eye Drop Killer Sentenced to Life After Poisoning Friend and Stealing Nearly $300,000

During a sentencing hearing, Jessy Kurczewski said she would be filing an appeal in a case deemed "very unusual" by the judge.

Video via FOX 6 News Milwaukee

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Video via FOX 6 News Milwaukee

A Wisconsin woman widely referred to in headlines as the Eye Drop Killer was sentenced to life with the possibly of parole this month.

During last Friday's sentencing, Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow spoke at length about this "very unusual case," which centers on the death of 62-year-old Lynn Hernan in 2018. In 2021, Jessy Kurczewski, then 37, was charged with homicide and theft in the case. In November of last year, Kurczewski was convicted.

As detailed in the trial, Kurczewski was accused of fatally poisoning Hernan, her purported friend, using Visine eye drops. She’s also reported to have taken nearly $300,000. Prosecutors argued that tetrahydrozoline, a chemical in Visine, had caused Hernan’s death.

The case was unusual, Judge Dorow said on Friday, because of both the method of poisoning and the sheer amount of time the ensuing investigation required. Although Hernan’s was first treated as a suicide, the nature of the investigation changed drastically as it progressed, ultimately leading to the charges, and eventual conviction, against Kurczewski.

"What I think was happening is that you were using [the tetrahydrozoline] to control Lynn Hernan, to steal from her, to gain control of her accounts," Judge Dorow said, as seen in Fox 6 News Milwaukee-shared footage. "I think you targeted her, I agree with the state's assessment on that. The perfect victim."

Judge Dorow also pointed to Kurczewski's past convictions, arguing that "the best predictor of future behavior" is often found by looking at one's past.

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Informing the sentence, Judge Dorow added, was a desire to "protect the public" while also pushing "the person found legally responsible" for Hernan’s death.

"You took away future memories, birthday parties, luncheons, phone calls," she said when stating the first-degree intentional homicide conviction will see Kurczewski, who also spoke in court on Friday, being given a life sentence with the possibly of extended supervision after 30 years. While this would make Kurczewski "close to 70 years of age" and thus older than Hernan, without the theft charges taken into account, Judge Dorow made it clear that her aim was to have the defendant closer to age 80 before having a shot at parole.

"I think 30 years is a pretty significant amount of time but my target is really 80 for you," she explained. "That’s why on counts two and threeyou’re going to serve maximum sentences consecutive to count one and consecutive to each other."

Kurczewski is expected to make an appeal of her sentence, as she herself made clear on Friday.

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