The trial is underway for the former yoga teacher accused of driving intentionally driving off a cliff in Hawaii, killing her identical twin sister.
Maui Now reports that a court heard opening statements for Alexandria Duval, 39, the woman facing second-degree murder charges for the May 29, 2016, death of her sister, Anastasia. Alexandria suffered minor injuries when she allegedly drove off a cliff in Maui–plunging more than 200 feet. Her twin sister was pronounced dead at the scene.
Witnesses reportedly saw the twins arguing in the stopped vehicle and observed passenger, presumably Anastasia, pulling the driver’s hair. Witnesses also saw the SUV they were in “accelerate forward and then take a sharp left over the cliff,” according to the Associated Press.
AP also reported that the sisters, born Alison and Ann Dadow, ran popular yoga studios in Florida before changing their names and moving to Hawaii in 2015.
Maui Now noted that Alexandria was released from custody in June 2016, when prosecutors failed to establish probable cause during a preliminary hearing. However, she was rearrested five months later after a warrant was issued in connection with a grand jury indictment.
In his opening statement, deputy prosecuting attorney Emlyn Higa said he plans to prove that Alexandria “intentionally or knowingly” drove off the cliff on that fateful day in May 2016. He said he’ll prove that the brakes weren’t used through witness testimony and other forms of evidence, according to ABC News.
Meanwhile, defense attorney Birney Bervar said he’ll introduce witness evidence and evidence from the crime scene to prove that the crash was a “tragic accident, not murder.” Brevar went on to note that Anastasia was found with Alexandria’s hair in her hands–indicating that the hair-pulling was so violent that it jerked his client’s head over the passenger side seat.
Alexandria has waived her right to a jury trial. She faces life in prison if convicted.
[Featured Image: Alexandria and Anastasia Duval/WPBF video screenshot]