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Driver who killed pedestrian during Kansas City, Missouri, drag race pleads guilty

zahara kathawalla.png
Posted at 6:14 AM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 07:23:11-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The driver who drag raced down Main Street in Kansas City, Missouri, and killed Zahara Kathawalla pleaded guilty to two felonies in connection with the June 2020 incident.

Court documents show Shabazz Frencher entered guilty pleas Friday for driving while intoxicated, causing the death of another and leaving the scene of a crash resulting in death. Prosecutors dropped charges of involuntary manslaughter and driving with a revoked or suspended license.

A judge will formally sentence Frencher on June 10. The maximum sentence she faces is 22 years in prison.

Arrest records show Kathawalla was crossing Main Street when Frencher hit the 23-year-old. Police estimate Frencher was traveling 67 miles per hour, nearly double the posted speed limit.

Court records indicate Kathawalla’s family also settled a civil lawsuit with Frencher, the terms of which are not publicly available.

Kathawalla’s parents live in Minneapolis. They’ve launched a foundation to distribute scholarships in Zahara’s name.

In May 2021, the Kansas City council adopted Mayor Quinton Lucas’ proposal to enact stricter penalties on drivers and spectators of illegal drag races and sideshows.