NEVADA, Iowa (WHO) — Nine-months after attacking and stabbing a former Iowa State University golfer to death on an Ames golf course, Collin Richards admitted his guilt in court on Friday.
Richards entered a guilty plea to a count of First Degree Murder for the death of Celia Barquin Arozamena. The former ISU golfer was attacked on Coldwater Golf Links on September 17th, 2018. Her body was found on the course by other golfers.
Collin Richards, a 22-year-old homeless man who lived near the course, was arrested nearby.
Earlier this year Richards sent the judge in his case a handwritten note asking to change his plea to guilty. The judge didn’t accept that plea but urged Richards to meet with his attorneys. Today at a hearing in Nevada, Richards entered a formal guilty plea. He ill be sentenced on August 23rd. He faces a mandatory sentence of life with the possibility of parole.
Story County Attorney Jessica Reynolds released a statement after today’s hearing reading in part:
“My heart is with Celia’s family today with the hope that this result will bring them some level of comfort … I hope we can take this moment to come together as a community and begin to heal together.”
Barquin Arozamena won a Big 12 Title at ISU. Iowa State has renamed its women athlete of the year award in her honor.
UPDATE:The man who admitted murdering Iowa State University golf star Celia Barquin Arozamena was sentenced to life in prison Friday morning.
Collin Richards pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on June 14th. Richards attacked Barquin Arozamena on Coldwater Golf Links in Ames on September 17th, 2018. Her body was found in a pond by other golfers.
Richards had been staying in a homeless camp near the course.
He sent a letter to the judge in the case earlier this month saying “I want to show remorse for stripping a life from society, worse from a loving family. I want the family and you to know I am sorry.”
Richards goes on to say “change” is his mission and a new life is his goal. He pledges to use all resources and steps saying “if there is anything I can do I will.”
During the sentencing hearing Friday morning the judge said she hopes Richards’ remorse is sincere.
“Even if I had discretion to choose a sentence, based on the facts of this case I believe the sentence is appropriate.”
A victim impact statement from the family was read at the sentencing, mentioning the difficult and long process of accepting Celia’s death and absence from the family’s lives. The family also thanked the investigators, prosecutors, and Iowa State University.