A New York City woman convicted of trying to kill a friend with a sedative-laced cheesecake was sentenced to 21 years in prison Wednesday in the identity theft plot, the Queens district attorney’s office said.
A jury convicted Viktoria Nasyrova, 47, of Brooklyn, in February of attempted murder and other counts in the 2016 attempted poisoning.
Nasyrova laced the cheesecake with a sedative that prosecutors described as a powerful toxin found only in Russia, which is where she is from, officials said.
The chemical was determined to be phenazepam, which is benzodiazepine developed by the Soviet Union, according to the district attorney’s office.
The victim survived. But her Ukrainian passport and around $4,000 in cash were stolen.
Nasyrova and the victim physically resembled each other, and prosecutors argued that Nasyrova poisoned her so she could steal her identity.
Nasyrova did not want to be forced to return to Russia, where she is wanted in a 2014 murder, the district attorney’s office has said.
Nasyrova was convicted of second-degree attempted murder, first-degree attempted assault, second-degree assault, first-degree unlawful imprisonment and petit larceny.
She had faced up to 25 years in prison.
Her defense attorney, Jose Nieves, said they will appeal the conviction, as well as the sentence. He said that he believes the sentence was excessive and that the appeal will focus on evidence and other legal issues.
“Had the jury been allowed to view or hear certain evidence, we might have had a different outcome,” Nieves said.
He said that Nasyrova is a Russian national and that after prison she would most likely be deported.