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Homeless man pleads guilty in slaying of Iowa State golfer

The 22-year-old faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison when he’s sentenced this summer.
Image: Celia Barquin Arozamena
Spanish golfer Celia Barquin Arozamena with the winner's trophy at the European Ladies' Amateur Championship at Penati Golf Resort, Slovakia.EGA / EPA file

AMES, Iowa — A homeless man charged in the killing of a former Iowa State University golfer has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.

Image: Collin Daniel Richards who has been arrested and charged with first degree murder in the death of Celia Barquin Arozamena
Collin Daniel RichardsStory County Sheriff / EPA

The Des Moines Register reports that 22-year-old Collin Richards entered the plea during a hearing Friday. He faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison when he’s sentenced Aug. 23. Richards had previously pleaded not guilty to the charge and was set to stand trial in September.

Police say Richards fatally stabbed 22-year-old Celia Barquín Arozamena last September while she was playing a round at a public course in Ames, near the university campus, and leaving her body in a pond on the course. Investigators say Richards he had been staying in a small homeless encampment in the woods near the public course.

Barquín Arozamena was a top golfer in Spain as a teenager and came to Iowa State to pursue her career.