The woman accused of driving an SUV off a cliff to kill her twin is now free. During a preliminary trial Wednesday, Maui judge Blaine Kobayashi threw out the second-degree murder charge against Alexandria Duval, 37, citing a lack of evidence, reports NBC News. Duval's lawyer, Todd Eddins, says the evidence prosecutors presented—including vehicle records showing Duval's Ford Explorer accelerated and steered off the cliff without braking while both sisters were inside, as well as witness statements noting the pair were fighting—could have supported "many alternative conclusions," including "that the passenger grabbed the wheel and caused the fatal crash," per KHON. Duval was critically injured in the May 29 crash, while her twin sister, Anastasia Duval, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The judge "said there wasn't enough evidence to show that it wasn't an accident and that we didn't show any evidence that she knew there was a cliff on that side of the road," a prosecutor adds. "It's very disappointing." Prosecutors can still seek an indictment from a grand jury, though it isn't clear if they'll do so. Duval initially remained in custody over charges of disorderly conduct stemming from an arrest on Christmas Eve; her sister was also arrested at the same time. However, Eddins says Duval posted $4,000 bail Wednesday evening and now hopes to be in upstate New York in time to attend her sister's funeral, reports Maui Now and the AP. She "is grateful and she wants to be back with her family," Eddins says. "Ideally she would be there to grieve with her family." (Click for more on the case.)