Celia Barquin Arozamena

The man who admitted to stabbing and killing Iowa State University golfer Celia Barquin Arozamena was sentenced to life in prison without parole today.

Collin Richards pleaded guilty to the murder in June and was sentenced in court today. Before sentencing, Richards sent a letter to Judge Bethany Currie saying he was sorry for taking Barquin Arozamena’s life and for taking her from her family.

Currie spoke to Richards in court today.  “There is no excuse for your actions. You say in your letter that you have remorse and I hope that is true. You’ll spend the rest of your life in prison with time to reflect,” Currie says.

Story County Attorney Jessica Reynolds read a statement from Barquin Arozamena’s family, saying the legal system should have been more effective in dealing with Richards’ history of drug abuse and mental illness. But, they said, the sentence brings some peace to her family and friends.

Reynolds says it was a painful case and the healing process for the community is ongoing. “The one-year anniversary of Celia’s murder is fast approaching. It’s a time for us to reach out to one another with kindness, love and friendship,” Reynolds says. Barquin Arozamena was a championship golfer at Iowa State. She was attacked while playing a round on a course near campus.

(Thanks to Grant Gerlock, Iowa Public Radio