Update 4:45 p.m.: Duval found not guilty of murder in death of twin sister in crash outside Hana
Second Circuit Judge Peter Cahill Thursday afternoon found Alexandria Duval not guilty of second degree murder in the death of her twin sister when their vehicle went over a cliff in East Maui in May 2016.
Duval, 39, had pleaded not guilty to the second degree murder charge stemming from the crash May 29, 2016, outside of Hana that claimed the life of her twin, Anastasia. The vehicle veered off Piilani Highway near Mile Marker 47.5 and fell more than 100 feet to the rocks below.
Alexandria Duval, the driver, survived; her sister, Anastasia, was thrown into the back seat and was killed.
Prosecutors tried to make the case that the defendant pressed the accelerator and without braking drove them off the cliff. The defense argued that she lost control of the vehicle and did not intentionally cause the crash. Witnesses described the two women fighting in the SUV with some hair pulling prior to the crash.
Duval requested a bench trial, which lasted four days this week. Final arguments were made Thursday and the verdict rendered at about 4 p.m.
In reading his verdict, Cahill basically ruled that the cause of Anastasia Duval’s death was her continuing to fight her sister, which caused Alexandria to lose control of vehicle and go over the cliff.
Duval left the courtroom without speaking to reporters. Her attorney, Birney Bervar, said: “She’s very relieved.”
“It’s been an extremely emotional ordeal for her,” he said after the verdict was read. “You can’t imagine losing your twin sister in that kind of catastrophic, tragic accident, then being charged with causing the death of your sister, which she didn’t. She’s extremely relieved.