Woman accused of killing friend with eye drops denied reduced bail for second time

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WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A Franklin woman accused of using eye drops to kill her friend will likely remain behind bars after a Waukesha County judge denied a request to reduce the $1 million cash bail. 

Jessy Kurczewski, 38, is facing one count of first-degree intentional homicide after allegedly killing a friend she had been taking care of and making it look like a suicide. 

Prosecutors say Kurczewski also stole money from the victim. 

The defendant's attorney, Pablo Galaviz, told the court during a bail modification hearing on Friday that his own investigation proves his client did not commit the crime. 

"I thought a need to get her out of jail as soon as possible," Galaviz said. "The state's evidence is weak, less than probable that this is a homicide."

The defense attorney filed a petition asking the court to reduce the cash bail to a signature bond or grant electronic home monitoring based on reasoning related to the medical examiner's report and a separate lab report.

Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow denied the request to modify bail.

"There's absolutely nothing that has been presented to me today that causes me to reconsider that and to modify bond in this case," Dorow said.

Dorow said the defendant's record of failing to appear proves she is a flight risk. 

The judge said although strength of a case could be a factor in setting bail, the reasoning presented by Galaviz relates to issues that would be worked out in trial. 

"All I know is you claim one thing, (the state is) disputing that. That's a factual issue that a trial will ultimately resolve," Dorow said.

This is the second time Dorow denied a reduced bail. There was a former request in Oct. 2021.

Galaviz also questioned the court on a prior request to have five pills found in the victim's body sent to the crime lab for confirmation.

The defense attorney said he got no response.

Assistant District Attorney Abbey Nickolie said the pills were destroyed in Feb. 2020 per the medical examiner's specimen disposal policy.

The defendant became emotional after the state said the pills do not exist anymore.

"It's a homicide case. How do they go disappearing?" Kurczewski said.

The victim died in Oct. 2018, according to a criminal complaint. 

Kurczewski was charged in June 2021.

The next motion hearing is scheduled on Dec. 9 at 8:30.

The trial is scheduled to begin in Feb. 2023.

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