STORY COUNTY, Iowa – 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,” Judge Bethany Currie said.
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 their lives. The family also thanked the investigators, prosecutors, and Iowa State University for their support throughout the investigation.
Richards will have no possibility for parole and must pay $150,000 in restitution to the family of Barquin Arozamena.