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"I want to show remorse for stripping a life from society worse from a loving family," Richards said in a handwritten letter to Judge Bethany Currie on Tuesday, according to NBC affiliate WHO of Des Moines. "I want the family and you to know im sorry."
Richards also wrote that "change is my mission" and "I will use all resources and steps" and "if there is anything I can do I will."
He faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced Aug. 23, the station reported.
The letter appears unlikely to change his sentence.
Richards was homeless and staying at a homeless camp when he was arrested, officials said at the time he was charged. Richards had scratches on his face “consistent with a fight” and a cut on his hand, and a knife was found, according to a criminal complaint.
Barquín Arozamena was a top golfer in Spain as a teenager and was pursuing her career at Iowa State, the Associated Press reported in June when Richards pleaded guilty to murder.