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Suspect in murder of standout Spanish amateur golfer indicates he may plead guilty


Collin Richards, a 22-year-old charged with the murder of Spanish amateur golf standout Celia Barquin Arozamena on a golf course in Ames, Iowa, last September, has indicating he may plead guilty to the crime.

According to a report from the Des Moines Register, Richards submitted a handwritten letter to District Judge Bethany Currie on Thursday. The letter, which contained several spelling and grammatical errors, was published by the Register.

"I would like to take care of my case, I would like to do whatever it is to move forward ending the case ple of guilty if it takes that thank you & sorry," Richards wrote. "I do plead guilty."

Barquin Arozamena was found stabbed to death on Sept. 12, 2018 at Coldwater Links in Ames, Iowa. The 22-year-old was finishing up her studies at Iowa State that fall and preparing to compete in LPGA Q School after playing four years on the Cyclones women’s golf team. She won the Big 12 individual title last spring and last summer won the European Ladies Amateur.

At the completion of her career at Iowa State, Barquin Arozamena had become the school’s all-time leader in stroke average (73.44) and her 16 top-10 finishes tied for second most in Cyclone history. She earned All-Big 12 honors three times and played in NCAA Regionals all four years in school. She was also a three-time first-team academic all-Big 12 selection. Barquin Arozamena’s accomplishments helped her earn the school’s female athlete of the year award.


Courtesy of Iowa State athletics

Richards was arrested the same day that the police found the body at the course. Police say he was staying at a homeless camp near the course at the time. Richards pled not guilty to the first-degree murder charge, which was expected to go to trial in September 2019.

According to the report, Judge Curie reviewed the letter on Thursday and ordered Richards’ lawyers to determine whether they want a hearing to change their client’s plea.