Driver of SUV that plunged off Maui cliff charged with murder
PUUIKI, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The driver of an SUV that plunged 200 feet off a Maui cliff has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the crash, which killed her twin sister.
Alexandria Duval, 37, entered a not guilty plea in Wailuku District Court on Monday.
The crash is the latest twist in the bizarre lives of the twins, an infamous pair of yoga studio owners from Florida.
Police said Duval, also known as Alison Dadow, was driving the Ford Explorer that plowed through a Hana Highway rock wall and plunged off a sea cliff May 29. Her twin sister, 37-year-old Anastasia Duval, was pronounced dead at the scene.
"This case involves a devastating, heart-shattering tragedy for Alison and her family. Her sister is dead as a result of the events surrounding this charge," said defense attorney Todd Eddins.
The two women were fighting before the crash, according to witnesses. They said they saw an argument inside the SUV and the passenger pulling the driver's hair. The Ford Explorer suddenly accelerated, made a sharp turn into the wall and showed no signs of braking, according to court documents.
Police and prosecutors haven't gone into details on why they believe the crash was intentional, but they did point out that Duval was trying to leave the state when she was arrested Friday.
"The fear we have is that she could easily go to a country where we don't have an extradition treaty. She has already changed her identity once, so she could change her identity again and we wouldn't be able to locate her," said deputy prosecuting attorney Emlyn Higa.
Eddins said that Duval was trying to head to New York to attend her sister's funeral and was not attempting to flee.
The sisters opened two Twin Power Yoga studios in Florida under the names Alison and Ann Dadow.
The two abruptly closed their studios in 2014, leaving workers and clients in the lurch. The sisters then re-surfaced in Utah, where they later claimed bankruptcy, citing hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that the sisters both have criminal records, including arrests relating to public intoxication.
They were reported to have relocated to Hawaii several months ago. The twins were arrested for disorderly conduct and terroristic threatening on Maui on December 24, 2015. They failed to appear for court proceedings and bench warrants were issued. One of them also showed up at the Family Life Center homeless shelter at the beginning of 2016, asking for assistance.
"It seemed like a downward spiral of events that didn't make any sense. They have a lot of people that love them," said Dalia Soles, the former manager of the Twin Power Yoga studios in Florida. "They were really fun. They have a lot of energy, bubbly, really personable."
A judge denied a request for bail. Duval is due back in court on June 8.
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