Jury finds Jessy Kurczewski guilty of killing friend with eye drops

Posted at 7:38 PM, November 14, 2023

WAUKESHA, Wis. (Scripps News Milwaukee) — Jurors returned a guilty verdict in the homicide trial of Jessy Kurczewski, a Franklin woman accused of killing a family friend by poisoning her with eye drops.

Jessy Kurczewski cries as she hears the verdict in court

Jessy Kurczewski cries as she listens to the verdict read in court on Nov. 14, 2023. (Court TV)

The jury deliberated for nearly 11 hours, beginning Monday, before a verdict was entered just before 1 p.m. on Tuesday, ending a trial that spanned three weeks.

Kurczewski, 39, wept openly as Judge Jennifer Dorow read through the guilty counts, one of first-degree intentional homicide and two of felony theft.

READ MORE: WI v. Jessy Kurczewski: Eye Drops Murder Trial

Prosecutors accused her of killing 61-year-old Lynn Hernan five years ago. Kurczewski was Hernan’s caregiver and one of only two people named in Hernan’s will. Prosecutors say the alleged crime was motivated by greed, claiming Kurczewski defrauded Hernan out of more than $200,000.

“The defendant betrayed Lynn out of greed. This case highlighted the financial vulnerability of the victim and what a person will do to get what they want,” said Deputy District Attorney Abbie Nickolie, following the verdict.

While convicting Kurczewski of theft, the jury agreed on lower felony charges. On each of the two counts, they decided the theft was more than $10,000 but less than $100,000.

Anthony Pozza, who says he’s known Hernan his entire life, wiped tears from his eyes when the verdict was read.

“When I learned of Lynn’s passing, I immediately knew something was awry and not reality. I thank god every day for the detectives and the DA that represented the case,” said Pozza after the trial ended.

WATCH: Jury Sees Video of Police Interviewing Jessy Kurczewski

“Justice has been served. Rest in peace, my lovely Auntie Lynn,” said Pozza.

The defense did not speak after the verdict. Throughout the trial, Defense Attorney Donna Kuchler argued that Kurczewski was like a daughter to Hernan. She said Hernan knew Kurczewski was using her money, and she took her own life while sick and depressed.

“When somebody takes too many pills, the combination together can create exactly what happened here,” said Defense Attorney Donna Kuchler in her closing remarks. “Everyone at the scene concluded it was suicide. Ladies and gentlemen, it was a suicide. It looked like a suicide.”

Sentencing is scheduled for December 7. Kurczewski faces a mandatory life sentence on the homicide conviction. She also faces an additional ten years combined for the felony theft counts.

This story was originally published by Scripps News Milwaukee, an E.W. Scripps Company.