Doctor found guilty of killing his mental health counselor, leaving body next to dumpster

- It was a murder case that rocked Montgomery County over a decade ago. A 23-year-old woman stabbed to death was found dumped next to a trash dumpster.

Fourteen years later, a jury found 68-year-old John Lutz guilty with first-degree murder of Nicole Castro.

This murder case took several years to go to trial because Lutz, a doctor, was found incompetent to stand trial. This was an unusual case because the jury had to determine if Lutz was both fit to stand trial after spending the last 14 years in a mental hospital and if he was guilty.

Now, Castro's family finally has some closure after the social worker was killed in Silver Spring back in 2002.

Lutz was one of Castro’s clients. He had been a mental patient at Springfield State Hospital and had a delusional disorder. 

Castro had visited Lutz's home in Silver Spring previously and she was scheduled to visit him on March 20. The next day, her body was discovered in a dumpster near Lutz's apartment complex.

When Lutz was arrested, investigators say he stated that officers had "the right guy." When police interviewed Lutz, investigators say he was bragging about how sly and cunning he was.

“Someone who is working to help heal somebody and a doctor who is also supposed to help and heal people and do no harm did the most grievous harm of all, and that was to murder the person trying to help him,” said Ramon Korionoff, spokesperson for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office.

The community was in shock when this murder happened. So much that social workers on duty went out in pairs for a while.

Lutz is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 29. The Montgomery County State's Attorney’s Office is seeking life in prison without parole.

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