Identical twin sisters Alexandria and Anastasia Duval always lived together, played together and worked together, operating what were once two of the hottest yoga studios in the Palm Beach, Fla., area. They called the business Twin Power Yoga.
They would finish each other’s sentences, and while they had boyfriends, their sibling relationship seemed to come first.
But after a reality TV project fell through, the two descended into a cross-country spiral of business failures, debts, arguments and drunken run-ins with the law that all came to a tragic end last week, when their SUV plunged off a 200-foot cliff on Maui’s rocky shore during what was described as a hair-pulling fight over the steering wheel.
Anastasia, 37, was killed, and Alexandria was arrested and jailed on a second-degree murder charge, accused of deliberately causing her sister’s death.
On Wednesday, however, a judge ordered Alexandria’s release after determining there was no probable cause for a murder charge.
“We will have to see what other evidence we can find by furthering the investigation,” Maui Prosecuting Attorney John Kim said when asked what prosecutors plan to do next.
Despite the judge’s ruling, defense attorney Todd Eddins said he was trying to bail her out Wednesday evening. He said she was still jailed because of charges related to a previous arrest involving disorderly conduct.
She’s eager to get to upstate New York in time for her sister’s funeral, Eddins said.
Authorities said Alexandria was behind the wheel of a Ford Explorer on May 29 when witnesses saw the sisters arguing on Maui’s Hana Highway, a perilously narrow, twisting route along a scenic stretch of coastline. A witness cleaning a family grave site on the highway shoulder told police that he heard a woman screaming in the vehicle and that the passenger was pulling the driver’s hair and the steering wheel.
The SUV accelerated, made a hard left turn and crashed into a rock wall, then went over the cliff, authorities said. Anastasia was pronounced dead at the scene. Alexandria was hospitalized in critical condition but appeared in court Monday with her arm in a sling.
The twins had been fighting and drinking earlier on the day of the crash, Federico Bailey, Anastasia’s boyfriend, told the Maui News. He said they had gone camping together for the Memorial Day weekend.
The sisters’ relationship involved distrust and constant fighting but also love, he said: “When they drink, their personalities change.”
Looking for a new start, they moved to Maui in December and planned to open yoga studios, according to Alexandria’s attorney.