This week kicked off the start of Alexandria Duval’s murder trial. She has been charged with second-degree murder for the death of her identical twin Anastasia in 2016. Prosecutors believe she deliberately drove off a cliff in Hawaii resulting in Anastasia’s death. Alexandria has maintained her innocence and has pleaded not guilty.
According to the Associated Press, Alexandria’s defense attorney called the death a tragic accident on Monday as the trial began. The twin decided to let a judge decide her fate, instead of a jury and that judge is expected to come to a decision sometime this week.
Both twins were 38 at the time of the crash when an SUV carrying the sisters went off a 200-foot cliff. They were witnessed fighting just minutes before the crash. One witness claims to have seen the twins “screaming and arguing with each other” and said that the “passenger was pulling at the driver’s hair and the steering wheel” before the crash. According to KHON2, investigators found “no attempts of braking based on witness accounts, roadway debris at the scene, and the vehicle’s airbag control module.”
Alexandria survived with minor injuries and has been charged twice with killing her sister. Initially, the case was dismissed due to lack of a probable cause. However, she was later indicted on a second-degree murder charge.
According to a People, investigators strongly believe the crash was intentional and that the plunge was orchestrated as a result of years of failed businesses and deep debt between the siblings. They had made a name for themselves as yoga instructors in Florida but ended up changing their names while later living in Utah, according to the report.
Florida chef Keith Weiss dated Anastasia for more than six months and told People he knew the twins before 2014 when they changed their legal names from Alison and Ann Dadow to Alexandria and Anastasia Duval. He claimed he saw explosive fights and bizarre behavior between the sisters.
“I once got a call from Ann [Anastasia] saying, ‘Get over here now … I’m going to kill her,'” Weiss said in the report. “She actually started hitting Alison [Alexandria] with the phone. I heard it … thump, thump, thump. They were both screaming at each other. … I get to their apartment and there’s broken glass everywhere from wine bottles and shattered glasses. There was blood everywhere, and the bedroom door was falling off its hinges.”