Twin acquitted of murder in Maui cliff plunge
  • Sunday, November 18, 2018
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Twin acquitted of murder in Maui cliff plunge

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A judge on Maui found Alexandria Duval not guilty Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. Duval opted to have a judge instead of a jury decide the case.

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The woman accused of murdering her identical twin sister by deliberately driving off a cliff on Maui was acquitted today.

Maui Circuit Judge Peter Cahill found Alexandria Duval not guilty shortly after 4 p.m. Duval opted for a bench trial rather than a jury trial.

Authorities said the women were fighting over the steering wheel on a narrow highway before the car plunged over the cliff, killing Anastasia Duval.

Authorities described the 2016 crash as a hair-pulling fight over the steering wheel. The sisters were seen arguing on the narrow, winding Hana Highway before their SUV plunged 200 feet over a cliff.

The crash was a tragic accident, Alexandria Duval’s defense attorney, Birney Bervar said in his opening statement.

Authorities said Alexandria was behind the wheel of a Ford Explorer when witnesses saw the sisters arguing on the perilously narrow, twisting route along a scenic stretch of coastline. A witness cleaning a family gravesite on the highway shoulder told police that he heard a woman screaming in the vehicle and that the passenger was pulling the driver’s hair and the steering wheel.

Anastasia Duval was in the passenger seat and was killed, and her sister Alexandria Duval was arrested. A judge later ordered Alexandria Duval released after finding no probable cause for a murder charge. She traveled to upstate New York and was arrested months later in Albany after a grand jury indicted her.

Witnesses testified seeing the women arguing on the narrow highway. Duval did not testify.

“I’m disappointed,” Maui County Prosecuting Attorney J.D. Kim said after the verdict. “The facts clearly show it was at least reckless behavior.”

The sisters, born Alison and Ann Dadow in the Utica, N.Y., area, operated popular yoga studios in Florida before they changed their names. They moved to Hawaii in 2015 from Utah.

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