Trial starts for woman charged with killing her twin

2018-01-30 22:08
An image of the Ford Explorer the 37-year-old sisters were travelling in, south on Hana Highway, when they crashed into a rock wall. (Tom Johnson via AP)

An image of the Ford Explorer the 37-year-old sisters were travelling in, south on Hana Highway, when they crashed into a rock wall. (Tom Johnson via AP)

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Wailuku — A murder trial began on Monday 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 defence attorney, Birney Bervar said in his opening statement. There's reasonable doubt of any criminal behaviour, 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.

Also read: Woman charged with murder after driving her twin sister off a cliff

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 travelled to upstate New York and was arrested again months later in Albany after a grand jury indicted her.

Duval 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.

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

Duval isn't expected to testify, Bervar said.

Read more on:    hawaii

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