MAUI (Hawaii News Now) - A woman who was accused of killing her identical twin sister by intentionally driving her car over a Maui cliff has been found not guilty by a Maui County judge.
The ruling was delivered Thursday afternoon. In pre-trial proceedings, the defendant, Alexandria Duval, waived her right to a jury trial and elected instead to have a judge decide her fate.
Witnesses to the crash testified that Duval had been seen arguing with her twin sister, Anastasia, just moments before their vehicle plunged 200 feet down the side of a cliff along the Hana Highway. The crash, which happened in May of 2016, killed Anastasia; Alexandria survived.
In his decision, Judge Peter Cahill said he believed the most important evidence in the case had been found in Anastasia's hands.
"That tells me that in the critical period, the deceased pulled her sister's hair so hard that she could yank it out of her scalp," he said. Cahill later noted that he believed the pulling of Alexandria's hair by Anastasia was what caused her to lose control of the vehicle.
The judge also stated that 'the first thing' prosecutors needed to prove was that Alexandria had caused her sister's death – not the other way around.
"If there is evidence to show that the deceased caused the car to go off the road, (that) makes it difficicult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt," he said.
Duval's lawyer had previously called the case a tragic accident.