Earlier this week, a woman was charged with murdering her twin sister in a Thelma & Louise-like car crash, where their car drove off a cliff in Hawaii. On Thursday, a judge dismissed the murder charge after hearing testimony from witnesses, ABC News reported. The judge ruled that there just wasn’t enough evidence to support the claim that Alexandria Duval intentionally killed her sister Anastasia, who died in the crash.
LawNewz.com founder Dan Abrams and HLN’s Nancy Grace clashed in a previous GMA appearance with their legal assessments of the case. Abrams contended there wasn’t enough for a murder charge — Grace thought there was. This morning, both agreed that while the murder charge was dropped, this case is likely to continue, as prosecutors explore other options. Even though Duval is no longer being charged with murder, there may still be enough evidence for manslaughter or negligent homicide charges.
For manslaughter, prosecutors would have to prove that Alexandria recklessly caused her sister’s death. For negligent homicide in the second degree, they would have to show that Alexandria operated the vehicle negligently, causing her sister’s death. For a third degree charge they would only have to show that she acted with “simple negligence,” which means that she was aware of the risks involved in her actions. First degree negligent homicide gets a little more interesting because it requires the accused person to have been driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. At the same time, witnesses say that the sisters had been fighting in the car, so a defense attorney could argue that if Alexandria was distracted by her sister’s actions, then perhaps she was not reckless or negligent, just a participant in a tragic accident.