The woman who allegedly drove herself and her twin sister off a Hawaiian cliff has been acquitted of murder.
Alexandria Duval, 39, was standing trial for the 2016 crash in which authorities alleged she had deliberately plunged her SUV 200 feet off a cliff in a bid to murder her twin, Anastasia Duval. The former yoga instructor had chosen not to have a jury trial, instead opting for a judge to decide her fate. In the trial that began Monday, her defense attorney posited that the crash had simply been an unfortunate accident in which his client was left heartbroken.
Anastasia Duval’s boyfriend testified on Tuesday about her bizarre actions before and after the crash, creating speculation that jealousy between the sisters over relationships may have been at play.
“She began cuddling up on me, it seemed like she was flirting with me … she sat down beside me really close and lay her head on my shoulder,” said Feredico Bailey. “She put on Anastasia’s clothes. I started talking to her about what happened, she avoided answering any of my questions. When I saw her in Anastasia’s dress it was disturbing. Anastasia had just worn that dress a few nights earlier.”
Several witnesses also testified that they had seen the twins arguing behind the wheel on the narrow highway, with one claiming to have seen “hair-pulling and punching” in the vehicle before it “sped up and jerked to the left.” This supported earlier reports that the sisters’ relationship was close but fraught with conflict.
According to friends of the pair, the duo had regularly gotten into explosive fights.
“I once got a call from [Anastasia] saying, ‘Get over here now … I’m going to kill her,’” Keith Weiss, a Florida chef who says he dated Anastasia, said last Spring. “She actually started hitting [Alexandria] with the phone. I heard it … thump, thump, thump. They were both screaming at each other.”
Alexandria first appeared in court in regard to Anastasia’s death in 2016 but was released after a judge found no probable cause to charge her with murder. However, she was arrested again months later in New York after a grand jury indicted her. She was facing life in prison for the second-degree murder charge.
Maui County Prosecuting Attorney J.D. Kim expressed his displeasure with the outcome of the verdict.
“I’m disappointed,” he said, according to the NY Post. “The facts clearly show it was at least reckless behavior.”
The women — born Alison and Ann Dadow — changed their names and moved from New York to begin working as yoga instructors in Florida. They had relocated to Hawaii just a year prior to the accident.