Alexandria Duval quietly wept inside a Hawaii courtroom after a judge issued his verdict: not guilty. After four days of a headline-grabbing murder trial in which prosecutors argued that she intentionally killed her twin sister, Anastasia, by driving their SUV off a 200-foot cliff in May 2016, the judge cleared Alexandria, 39, of second-degree murder charges. “It was an accident,” Alexandria's ex-boyfriend, Lonnie Dickerson, told In Touch before the Feb. 1 verdict. “She would never kill her sister.”

The trial is finally over, but it threw into the spotlight a bizarre and twisted relationship filled with money woes, arrests, and alcohol issues — which ended in the volatile fight that left one twin dead and the other accused of murder. “It’s heartbreaking,” longtime friend Heather O’Leary tells In Touch, explaining that despite all the drama, “they were sisters, they loved each other and they had an undeniable relationship that only twins can truly understand.”

Their bizarre bond first made headlines in 2014. That’s when Alexandria and Anastasia — born Alison and Ann Dadow in upstate New York — abruptly closed the popular Twin Power Yoga studios they’d run since 2008 in Palm Beach County, FL, because of massive debts they’d racked up while pursuing a reality TV show that fell through. After being dubbed “yoga’s terrible twins” by local media and accused of stiffing their employees and customers, they left for upscale Park City, UT, changed their names, filed for bankruptcy, and opened a new studio. “They didn’t change their names to flee from the law or anything like that,” insists Lonnie. “They wanted a clean slate.”

But it didn’t work out that way. In Utah, the pair’s drinking began getting them into trouble. Their run-ins with the law ranged from suspicion of DUI to public intoxication and assault on a police officer after another car accident involving fighting and hair pulling.

In late 2015, they moved to Maui, HI, reportedly on a religious quest, but they were soon arrested there for disorderly conduct and terroristic threatening. Booze changed them, testified Anastasia’s boyfriend of about a month, Federico Bailey: “Wine… seemed to fuel their fights.” Bailey claimed the twins — who have been described as so close that they not only finished each other’s sentences, but felt comfortable showering together — brawled “quite often, every two or three days… They punched each other.” (Lonnie, however, says the twins would “scream [to] release the bad energy and then settle down and talk,” but insists they rarely got violent.)

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By all accounts, they were fighting on the day of the crash. A witness who saw them on the perilous Hana Highway claimed Anastasia was violently grabbing her sister’s hair and struggling for control of the Ford Explorer’s steering wheel. Computer data revealed that Alexandria accelerated and made a hard turn off the cliff, which led cops to believe it was an attempted murder-suicide. And after the crash — which left her hospitalized with severe injuries — Federico said Alexandria creepily put on her dead sister’s dress and began “flirting and cuddling on me.”

Lonnie tells In Touch the twins “wore each other’s clothes all the time.” And he insists Alexandria is distraught over her loss. “They had so many plans together — to raise kids, settle down, write a book,” he says. “They lit up a room when they went in it. It’s just not right what [people] are saying about them.”