A New York woman accused of attempting to kill her doppelganger friend by giving her a poisoned cheesecake before stealing her identity allegedly left evidence behind, the prosecutor said Monday.
Viktoria Nasyrova, a Russian native, left DNA evidence all over the cheesecake box and spoke about her alleged crimes in jailhouse interviews, Assistant District Attorney Konstantinos Litourgis told jurors.
“The DNA that was on that container belongs to Viktoria Nasyrova,” Litourgis said in his opening statements. “So on top of everything you’re going to hear from civilian witnesses, you’re going to learn that there’s a cheesecake container that had [tranquilizer] Phenazepam in it and also had the defendant’s DNA on it.”
Media interviews Nasyrova gave after her arrest will also be a focus during the trial, the prosecutor said.
“She was asked this specific question … ‘There is a woman named Olga who looks a lot like you who said that you poisoned her with a piece of cheesecake in order to steal her identity,’” Litourgis said.
The alleged victim in the case is Olga Tsvyk.
“You know what this defendant did when she was asked that question? She smiled. And you know what her answer was? ‘I can tell you I know this person. I know who you mean. I did not force her to eat the cheesecake.’”
Tsvyk, an eyelash stylist, testified Monday that Nasyrova had arrived at her home in Queens in August 2016, claiming she needed an emergency touch-up appointment.
“She told me, ‘I’m right now in Brooklyn. I want to bring you some famous cheesecake from a famous bakery.’ I told her, Viktoria, that’s not needed, just come over,'” Tsvyk said.
Tsvyk said Nasyrova ate two slices of cheesecake immediately after her arrival before Nasyrova offered her a third slice that prosecutors say was laced with Russian tranquilizer Phenazepan. Tsvyk said she began to feel sick about 20 minutes after eating the cake.
“I started to look to lie down on the bed,” Tsvyk told the jury. “I started to look for a pillow. I was realizing that I was losing consciousness and I said to her, ‘Vika, I’m feeling really bad.’ I started feeling very nauseous. I wanted to vomit. I started to vomit right by my bed onto the floor.”
“I told her, ‘Vika, I’m going to throw up right now.’ She said, ‘Don’t worry about it, I will clean it up.’ I remember she went to the bathroom and came back with Bounty,” Tsvyk continued.
Prosecutors claim Nasyrova then stole Tsvyk’s passport, cash and other belongings, and tried to make the incident look like a suicide attempt by scattering pills around the victim’s body.
“Everything was done in this case very carefully and very methodically by this defendant … not only did she poison Olga in order to impersonate her … she also staged her bedroom to make it look like suicide,” Litourgis told the jury.
But Litourgis says she left her DNA on the cheesecake box and that additional evidence also proves she tried to kill Tsvyk.
Another witness the prosecution intends to call during the trial is a man who claims Nasyrova drugged him after they met on a Russian dating site in 2016.
Litourgis said that man ate fish and veggies Nasyrova had cooked, and that he woke up three days later in a hospital.
“His symptoms almost mirrored that of Olga’s,” Litourgis said, noting that the man’s watch and cash had been stolen.
Nasyrova pleaded guilty in a separate case to attempted petit larceny in Brooklyn Supreme Court in 2019, following allegations she drugged and robbed men she met on dating apps. She is also accused of drugging and killing her neighbor in Russia, torching the body and fleeing to New York.
But her attorney, Christopher Hoyt, told jurors the current case was not as “open and shut” as prosecutors claim.
Nasyrova faces up to 25 years in prison if she is convicted of attempted murder, burglary and other charges.