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They were impossible to separate and sometimes impossible to even tell apart. But 37-year-old twins Alexandria and Anastasia Duval's sisterhood came to an end in a violent, still unexplained car crash in 2016.
Police in Maui, Hawaii were convinced that Alexandria deliberately drove the car she was driving with Anastasia off a 200-foot cliff in the midst of a fight, according to “Accident, Suicide or Murder” on Oxygen. Anastasia was killed on impact, and Alexandria was charged with second-degree murder.
There was no way Alexandria could have expected to survive the wreck, which allegedly took place at top speed, police said, so they assumed it was intended as a double-suicide.
People who knew both twins were skeptical. Anastasia and Alexandria fought — often — but they always came back around, and neither ever talked about wanting to die, Anastasia's ex-boyfriend, Jeffrie Hall, told “Accident, Suicide or Murder.”
The women ran a yoga studio in Maui, but their business relationship went back years prior to a series of failed ventures and moves, PEOPLE reported. The pair lost their mother at a young age to an aneurysm. As they grew older, they dove headfirst into spirituality and yoga, and started a studio in Palm Beach, Florida so renowned that reality show producers were courting them at one point.
In Palm Beach, the twins were observed fighting violently at times, including in the car while one of them was driving, Keith Weiss, another of Anastasia's ex-boyfriends, told PEOPLE. Weiss added that Alexandria would often tag along on Anastasia's dates. Hall also said that there was jealousy between the sisters.
Still, the sisters would always make up after their scuffles, usually acting as if nothing had happened, according to Weiss and Hall.
The sisters were close to $100,000 in debt in Palm Beach, however, according to “Accident, Suicide or Murder.” They moved to Park City, Utah to start over in 2014, and they even changed their last names, Oxygen.com reported in 2018.
“They had some drama in their past,” Larry Becraft, a vehicle homicide investigator with the Maui Police Department, told producers. “Come to find out that they had some run-ins with the law. They were not usual sisters.”
In Utah, the girls were involved in a non-fatal traffic accident, according to Hall. Alexandria was driving and lost control of the car, and when police responded, the two girls were fighting, Hall told producers. Alexandria was arrested for driving under the influence, and that incident in part spurred their next move — to Maui. It was supposed to be another new beginning, according to Hall.
But on May 29, 2016, the Duvals' dream of a new life together went soaring over a cliff. The twins were driving on Maui's Hana Highway along the cliffside when Alexandria took a sharp left turn and accelerated into a rock wall, breaking through and plunging the SUV down onto the shoreline, AP reported.
A number of witnesses, including a troop of Boy Scouts, told police they saw the girls fighting while the car was parked on the side of the road, pulling each other's hair before the crash. The vehicle's control module indicated that Alexandria didn't hit the brakes before the plunge, according to “Accident Suicide or Murder.” Anastasia's autopsy results also corroborated witness reports of hair-pulling.
In January 2018, Alexandria faced a bench trial for second-degree murder, with the possibility of a life sentence. Her defense attorney, Birney Bervar, insisted that what happened was a tragic accident, with Anastasia pulling Alexandria's hair and making her lose control of the car. Meanwhile, prosecutors sought to eliminate any possible scenario for the crash other than Alexandria intentionally driving off the cliff.
“It never occurred to me not to pursue the case as a murder,” Maui Deputy Prosecutor Emlyn Higa told producers. “A woman who did not want to be dead is dead.”
The judge heard from multiple witnesses of the crash, including one who earlier said he saw it happen, but later admitted to defense attorneys that he only heard it. Alexandria declined to testify, according to “Accident, Suicide or Murder.”
She was found not guilty of second-degree murder. The judge agreed that Anastasia caused the accident by attacking Alexandria in the car, Bervar told producers. People who knew the twins largely felt that justice was served
“I felt like the verdict was fair … there was nothing there to prove murder,” Hall told producers.
For more on the accident that claimed Anastasia Duval's life, including courtroom footage, watch “Accident, Suicide or Murder”at Oxygen.com. New episodes air Saturdays at 6/5c.
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