Man killed acquaintance with a pipe in Northwest Side home, prosecutors say

Prosecutors say a man beat a man with a pipe, killing him, in a Northwest Side home where they sometimes did drugs together. Judge Mary Marubio ordered Lukasz Wiercioch, 29, held without bail on a charge of first-degree murder.

Chicago police responded to a 911 call at the home in the 3300 block of North Panama on September 2 and found 46-year-old Marcos Castro unconscious on the basement floor, authorities said.

Lukasz Wiercioch | CPD

Investigators allegedly learned that Wiercioch, Castro, and three others were at the home where they occasionally took drugs when Castro became upset because his girlfriend wanted to start dating other people, including one of the other men in the house.

Wiercioch became involved and started arguing with Castro, who went downstairs.

Another group member was also downstairs, but he was behind a sheet that had been strung up as a projector screen, prosecutor Leonore Carlson said. From behind the sheet, that man heard Castro tell Wiercioch to stop and heard a “thud” sound, according to Carlson.

The man looked out from behind the curtain and saw Castro unconscious on the floor. He then saw Wiercioch hit Castro in the head with a metal object, Carlson alleged.

Another member of the group went downstairs in time to see Wiercioch hit Castro in the head with a pipe, she said.

Wiercioch and the witness behind the sheet fled the scene before police arrived. That witness later led police to a dumpster where Wiercioch dumped his shirt and socks after the alleged murder.

Castro later died from his injuries.

Police executed search warrants at the home and recovered metal pipes in the basement and garage that are being tested for fingerprints and biological evidence.

Wiercioch was on bail for a misdemeanor battery case in the suburbs. According to his public defender, he lives in River Grove with his parents and works in construction.

The defense lawyer suggested that Wiercioch may have a self-defense claim since no one other than Wiercioch knows what happened before Castro was struck the first time.

Judge Marubio acknowledged the “contentious relationships” among the people in the home but said the state had met its burden to win a no-bail motion.

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Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. He can be reached at