Man who killed Iowa State golfer sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole

August 23, 2019

Courtesy of Iowa State athletics

The man who fatally stabbed Celia Barquin Arozamena last fall was sentenced to life in prison Friday, without the possibility of parole.

Collin Richards, a homeless man, murdered Barquin Arozamena on Sept. 17 while she was playing at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames. Barquin Arozamena, the Big 12 women's champ, was taking classes to complete her civil engineering degree that fall while preparing for Stage II of LPGA Q school.

Richards, 22, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on June 14. Earlier this month, Richards submitted an apology letter to the judge and into court records, further writing that “change” is his mission and a new life is his goal.

Richards' sentence was mandated after the guilty plea.

“Even if I had discretion to choose a sentence, based on the facts of this case I believe the sentence is appropriate,” said Story County (Iowa) judge Bethany Currie.

Speaking during the hearing, prosecutor Jessica Reynolds read a statement from Barquin Arozamena's parents.

"Celia was a woman who radiated a desire to live, to improve day by day so as to reach her dreams but without missing the opportunity to offer help to whoever asked for it," Reynolds said. "It has been, and continues to be, very hard to fight with the impotence of such a cruel, random and absurd crime."