Wisconsin eye drops homicide trial; Kurczewski declines to testify

WAUKESHA, Wis. - In the Waukesha County eye drops homicide trial of Jessy Kurczewski, the defense rested its case Thursday.

For the first time during the trial, Kurczewski spoke Thursday. She made an important decision – choosing not to take the stand – as both sides prepared for closing arguments, which the jury won't hear until Monday.

"It was very hard for me to decide, but ultimately I will not be testifying," Kurczewski said.

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Toxicologist Henry Spiller, the defense’s last witness, tried to cast doubt on whether tetrahydrozoline, an ingredient in Visine eye drops, killed Lynn Hernan in 2018. He testified powerful muscle relaxers were more likely a factor – which contradicts the county medical examiner's ruling.

"This smells of statistical trickery," said Henry Spiller, a toxicologist.

<div>Lynn Hernan and Jessy Kurczewski</div>
Lynn Hernan and Jessy Kurczewski

Defense Attorney Donna Kuchler: "Where does tetrahydrozoline fall in the list of most serious drugs in her system?"
Spiller: "At the bottom."

Prosecutors believe Kurczewski gave Hernan six bottles of Visine. Spiller disagrees.

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"She took about a teaspoon. About a teaspoon is left – she obviously took more because she had a blood level, but there’s a teaspoon left in the stomach," said Spiller.

Prosecutors called Spiller's credibility into question.

<div>Toxicologist Henry Spiller</div>
Toxicologist Henry Spiller

Deputy District Attorney Abbey Nickolie: "The school where you received that degree, Columbia Pacific University, no longer exists."
Spiller: "No, I don’t think so."
Nickolie: "Because the state of California shut it down by court order."
Spiller" "Don’t know – it was long after I was involved with it."

Investigators said Kurczewski killed Hernan and took all of Hernan’s money. Kurczewski said Hernan was sick, wanted to die and willingly wrote Kurczewski dozens of checks.

CONTINUE READING: FOX6 News coverage of the Wisconsin eye drops homicide trial

Nickolie: "Objection – this was entered by defense as (exhibit) 626."
Kuchler: "That’s not the question, the insinuation was – "
Judge Jennifer Dorow: "Hold on. Stop. I’m excusing the jury."

After a series of objections and Spiller talking over attorneys, the defense rested its case. Closing arguments will begin Monday morning, and Judge Dorow said both parties need to finalize jury instructions Friday – so the jury was dismissed for the weekend.