Man who killed pregnant Lyft driver in Tempe sentenced

Mug shot of Fabian Durazo when he was booked into jail in 2019.
Mug shot of Fabian Durazo when he was booked into jail in 2019.(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 4:44 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — The man who reportedly confessed to killing a pregnant Lyft driver and her baby in Tempe learned his fate on Friday. Judge Suzanne Cohen sentenced Fabian Durazo to 50 years in prison. It was part of a plea deal after he pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder last month and arson of an occupied structure.

On Jan. 27, 2019, prosecutors said Durazo was picked up in the area of Rio Salado Parkway and McClintock Drive by Kristina Howato, who was working for Lyft. When she dropped him off near University and McClintock drives, he started stabbing her while still in her SUV. He got out and continued the attack. He then drove off in her SUV, leaving Howato there. She was taken to the hospital, where she and her unborn baby died. Police said she was in her third trimester of pregnancy.

Law enforcement used GPS to find Howato’s SUV near Quartzite, where Durazo was arrested. While Durazo didn’t admit to a motive, investigators believe he planned to steal Howato’s SUV when he called the Lyft. A grand jury indicted Durazo on two counts of first-degree murder, one count of kidnapping, one count of theft of means of transportation and one count of armed robbery on Jan. 28, 2019. After more than three years of hearings, he changed his plea to guilty and avoided the death penalty. He faced up to 25 years in prison for each count of murder.