A homeless Iowa man has reportedly pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing a 22-year-old college student with a promising future as a golfer.
According to BuzzFeed News, Collin Richards, also 22, entered his plea on Friday, prompting a conviction on one criminal count of murder in the first degree.
At the time of the deadly attack last September, Richards was reportedly homeless and was staying near a golf course, where he happened to spot the victim, Iowa State University student Celia Barquin Arozamena.
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She was discovered with multiple stab wounds to various parts of her body, including her head, neck and torso in what authorities deemed a random act of violence.
Upon further investigation, police reportedly spoke to a man who said Richards had previously expressed fantasies about raping and murdering women. Officers later located and approached the suspect, noting that he had scratches on his face and blood stains on his backpack.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Richards indicated in March through a letter to the court that he was willing to confess — after initially pleading not guilty to murder charges stemming from his arrest last year.
Following his plea change this week, court reports show he is set to appear before a judge for sentencing in August. The conviction, however, carries a mandatory sentence of life behind bars without the possibility of parole.
Story County Attorney Jessica Reynolds issued a statement addressing the victim’s family, offering her “hope that this result will bring them some level of comfort.”
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[Featured images: Collin Richards, Story County Jail/Celia Barquin Arozamena, handout]