The strange story of identical twins begins a two-hour drive east of Fort Myers. There in Palm Beach County, the sisters owned a yoga studio for years before changing their names and moving to Hawaii in 2015.
Thirty-seven-year-old Alexandria Duval was taken into custody a couple of days ago in Albany, New York, after Hawaiian officials issued a warrant for her arrest. She is accused of driving the SUV she and her sister were in when it plunged off a Hawaii cliff. She faces a charge of second-degree murder.
A grand jury in Maui County, Hawaii indicted her on the charge. Bail was set at $3 million, according to a media report.
The woman's criminal defense attorney said that the death of her sister was "a devastating, heart-shattering tragedy" for their family and that a previous accusation of murder was "extreme and cold-hearted." She had been arrested in Hawaii but released after a judge said police lacked probable cause.
Witnesses said the sisters were in a violent argument while traveling in a Ford Explorer along a rocky shoreline. The vehicle accelerated and went over a cliff, plunging 200 feet.
The surviving sister suffered minor injuries, while her sister, Anastasia, suffered fatal injuries in the crash.
We do not know what will come of these charges against the surviving sister, but it is clear that there is reason to have doubts about media and law enforcement accounts of what transpired. With the help of a criminal defense lawyer, she will get an opportunity to tell her side of the story.
As always, prosecutors bear the burden of proof.