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Homeless Suspect In Murder Of Iowa State Golf Champion Pleads Not Guilty

Collin Richards faces life in prison without parole if convicted of the murder of Iowa State University student Celia Barquin Arozamen.

By Jill Sederstrom

The homeless man accused of killing an Iowa State University golfer pleaded not guilty on Monday, just days after newly released court documents revealed more details of the crime.

Collin Richards entered a plea of not guilty in Story County District Court in connection to the murder of Celia Barquin Arozamen, online records show.

Richards waived his right to a speedy trial, and the filing also canceled an in-person arraignment hearing that had been scheduled later for Monday.

Arozamen, a native of Spain and the 2018 Big 12 women’s golf champion, was found stabbed to death on the Coldwater Links golf course in Ames, Iowa, on Sept. 17.

When police questioned suspect Collin Richards about the crime on the day of Arozamen’s death, his hand was still bleeding and officers recovered three knives they think could be connected to the death, according to search warrant documents shared by Local 5 news station.

Police said the wounds found on Richard's hand were consistent with a wound on the victim's body, according to the Ames Tribune, which reports that, according to a Friday statement by Friday by State Medical Examiner Dennis Klein, Arozamen died from multiple sharp forced injuries and asphyxia, after a stick had been lodged in her mouth and throat.

Authorities also recovered clothing with blood stains, tents, two blankets and a backpack that were at a campsite in Ames where Richards, who police described as a drifter, was known to stay, the Register reports.

Following Arozmena's death, classmates and officials at Iowa State expressed sadness over the life of such a talented athlete with a winning personality being ended so prematurely.

“Celia had an infectious smile, a bubbly personality and anyone fortunate enough to know her was blessed,” Iowa State Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard said in a press release. “Our Cyclone family mourns the tragic loss of Celia, a spectacular student-athlete and ISU ambassador.”

ISU President Wendy Wintersteen called the golfer a "talented student-athlete and an acclaimed golfer with a bright future,” in a statement posted to Twitter.

District Judge Bethany Currie, meanwhile, ruled Monday that Richards will stand trial Jan. 15 for first-degree murder.

Richards, who is currently incarcerated on $5 million bond according to online jail records, faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

[Photo Credits: Associated Press, Story County Sheriff's Department]

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