Woman Charged With Killing Twin Goes on Trial

Her lawyer says it was a tragic accident
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 31, 2018 2:23 AM CST

(Newser) – A murder trial began this week for a woman accused of deliberately driving off a cliff in Hawaii and killing her identical twin sister. The 2016 crash was a tragic accident, Alexandria Duval's defense attorney, Birney Bervar said in his opening statement Monday. There's reasonable doubt of any criminal behavior, he said. Authorities described the 2016 crash as a hair-pulling fight over the steering wheel. The sisters, who were 38 at the time, were seen arguing on the narrow, winding Hana Highway on the island of Maui before their SUV plunged 200 feet over a cliff. Anastasia Duval was in the passenger seat and was killed, and her sister Alexandria Duval was arrested, the AP reports.

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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 again months later in Albany after a grand jury indicted her. Duval, who was extradited to Hawaii, opted to have a judge instead of a jury decide the case. The judge is expected to reach a verdict this week. Maui resident Chad Smith testified that while the women were passing him on the highway he could see them arguing. Smith, who was headed to a church, said he couldn't hear anything but the women looked angry. He had to swerve out of their way, he said. Duval isn't expected to testify, Bervar said.

(Read more Hawaii stories.)

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