Convicted ‘Eye drops killer’ allegedly asked friend to forge suicide audio message from victim


A recently convicted killer now faces even more trouble after an alleged attempt to concoct an elaborate post-trial alibi seems to have left her without a willing lawyer in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Jessy Kurczewski, 39, is currently slated to be sentenced this Thursday for the murder of Lynn Hernan, 62, whom she killed by slowly feeding her an inordinate amount of eyedrops in October 2018.

On Nov. 30, defense attorney Donna Kuchler filed a motion to withdraw from the case. On Monday, defense attorney Pablo Galaviz filed his own motion to withdraw. Later on Monday, Kuchler filed a letter addressing the court’s plan to consider the withdrawal motions at the beginning of the still-scheduled sentencing hearing. In her letter, Kuchler implored the court to postpone the sentencing.

“If it was not clear from our motion, I believe I am duty-bound to withdraw from this case,” the lawyer’s letter obtained by Law&Crime reads. “The Court has access to the sentencing materials subsequently filed by the State. The State insisted that I appear in their office personally to receive copies of those materials and that meeting included Detective [Aaron] Hoppe. My own interests of protecting my law license of 27 years are at issue here. If the Court proceeds with the sentencing hearing, I will remain silent.”

The urgency of the attorney’s effort to remove herself from the case appears to have been precipitated by a 37-page handwritten letter allegedly penned by her client. This letter was seemingly cobbled together on the back pages of notes she took during her murder trial and later sent to a friend. The letter asks the friend to forge documents and record audio pretending to be Hernan in order to try and convince people the victim was severely ill and killed herself.

A copy of the letter allegedly written by the defendant was obtained by Law&Crime.

“I did not kill Lynn nor did I assist nor did I ever steal a dime from her,” one section of the document turned over to law enforcement reads. “I trust you and whether you help or not this is something I need you to take to your grave.”

In addition to murder, Kurczewski was found guilty on two counts of theft of movable property over $10,000 but less than $100,000. The state proved during trial that she repeatedly defrauded Hernan of substantial sums of money while in charge of the victim’s estate.

Jessy Kurczewski learns her fate

Jessy Kurczewski learns her fate in court on Nov. 14, 2023. (Law&Crime Network)

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 continues. “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.”

It is unclear if either of Kurczewski’s lawyers had any knowledge of the fantastical jailhouse plan. Law&Crime reached out to both Kuchler and Galaviz for comment on this story but no responses were immediately forthcoming at the time of publication.

The letter allegedly written by the murderess even contains the proposed script for her friend to read:

Jessy I am sorry to leave you like this and Im [sic] assuming you’ll be the one to find me after all you have done for me all the times you saved my life. I know if it wasnt [sic] for you I would have been dead months ago you have been my rock, your [sic] stronger than anyone I know and now I need you to take care of your mom for I know you did all you could to keep me alive as long as you could. I no longer recognize myself Im [sic] sick of being sick complaining about being sick and just sick of it all. I want to be free from the pain and this is my time. I love you and your mom very much, take care of each other.

“Jessy stop listening to this tape,” the proposed script continues.

The handwritten instruction guide offers insight into the technical aspects of the proposed forged audio as well:

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!

Kurczewski allegedly also instructed her friend on how to forge a written, backdated and notarized, letter from Hernan.

In that would-be forgery, the deceased woman would be made to confess that she killed her mother with eyedrops and lived with the guilt. This part of the plan would have been twofold: advancing both the suicide narrative and rehashing support for the defendant’s claim that Hernan was the one obsessed with purchasing eyedrops. The killer’s defense itself relied on the latter narrative during the trial.

On Tuesday, prosecutors filed an objection to the defense attorneys’ motions to withdraw.

“In evaluating both motions to withdraw the State feels it necessary to focus on the apparent driving force behind the motions to withdraw is a comment that states, ‘this was one of my attorney’s idea’ referenced in the letter,” the motion reads. “However, though the State will argue that those materials were authored by Ms. Kurczewski, for purposes of Attorneys Kuchler and Galaviz being able to continue representing her, it is important to note that Ms. Kurczewski, in numerous recorded phone calls, has continually denied writing those materials and denied having any idea what they were or who authored them.”

The state also argues that taking both attorneys off the case would deprive Kurczewski of legal representation at a key point in the case that would result in a sentencing delay of several months and leave her “to languish in the Waukesha County Jail.”

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