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Homeless man apologizes for killing star Iowa State golfer in letter to judge: ‘I want the family and you to know I’m sorry’


Collin Richards will spend the rest of his life in prison. (Story County Jail)

A homeless man who pleaded guilty to killing a former star Iowa State golfer says he wants to “show remorse for stripping a life from society.”

Collin Richards submitted a hand-written apology to the court on Tuesday in connection with last year’s slaying of 22-year-old Celia Barquín Arozamena.

Richards, also 22, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in June.

“I want the family and you to know I’m sorry,” Richards wrote to Judge Bethany Currie in a letter obtained by local media outlets. “I also want you to know change is my mission, new life is my goal.”

He added that “I will use all resources and steps. If there is anything I can do I will. Thank you for the time and for working with me.”

Celia Barquin Arozamena won the Big 12 Championship in 2018.
Celia Barquin Arozamena won the Big 12 Championship in 2018. (Luke Lu/AP)

Prosecutors say Arozamena was fatally stabbed at the Coldwater Golf Links on Sept. 17. Richards was found later with bloodied clothes in a backpack.

The defendant was living in a tent in a temporary camp near the course, and he allegedly told someone that he had an “urge to rape and kill a woman,” according to the criminal complaint.

Arozamena won the Big 12 Championship last year, and was the third women’s golfer at the university to compete in the U.S. Women’s Open Championship. She was a top golfer in Spain before she enrolled at Iowa state.

“We will never forget her competitive drive to be the best and her passion for life,” her former coach Christie Martens said last year.

Richards will be sentenced to life in prison later this month.