Eggs boil over into shooting man pleads guilty

November 14, 1990

Russell Murray, 38, left the eggs boiling too long in the pot, and he shot Darnell Nixon after Mr. Nixon chastised him about it.

Yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court, Murray pleaded guilty to assault with intent to murder and to a handgun charge. He will be sentenced Jan. 8 to at least five years without the possibility of parole, said the assistant state's attorney, Sharon D. Smith.

It all began around midnight May 18.

Mr. Nixon, who was asleep in his basement apartment in the 300 block of East 22nd Street, smelled smoke. He ran upstairs and found Murray asleep in front of the stove, the pot of eggs burning away. Nixon, 22, chastised Murray about falling asleep and endangering his father, Charles Nixon, who lived on the second floor.

Murray responded by going to his third-floor room and getting his .32-caliber revolver. He met Mr. Nixon in the second-floor hallway and fired twice.

"He thinks he's justified in getting a gun because the guy was getting on him about almost setting the house on fire," Ms. Smith said of Murray.

That night, seeing his son cornered, the elder Mr. Nixon tried to intervene.

" 'Stop that!' " he had said, according to Ms. Smith. "'Put that gun away. This don't make no sense!' "

But Murray fired twice more, sending his adversary fleeing out the window. Minutes later, police arrived and asked Murray if he was the man with the gun.

"He said: 'Yeah. I left something burning on the stove. He came up to me and we argued about it, so I got my gun and shot him."

Mr. Nixon, who was shot in the abdomen, spent two weeks in Johns Hopkins Hospital, recovering from his wound.

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