Russell Neal, the Hi-Five singer was charged with murdering his wife Catherine Martinez in 2014. The singer himself walked into a Sheriff’s office and told them that his wife was dead in their Houston apartment and he needed a lawyer.

Who is Russell Neal?

Russell Neal was born in the early 1970s in Waco, Texas. His mother, Evelyn T Neal was a doctor and his father Neal II was a lawyer. He is the second born to brothers Rodney and Ronald Neal. 

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Neal was among the founding members of the platinum-selling R&B group in 1989. He gained popularity in 1990 after the group scored many Top 10 hits, and also a top hit on RCA records in 1991 I Like the Way.

Neal married Catherine Martinez, who was an aspiring fitness model and boxer. The couple has two children. Neal used to beat Catherine Martinez. He stabbed her to death on June 28, 2014, in their home, where their two small sons were present. They were locked in the room just feet from their mother’s body. It was mentioned in case filings that one of the children walked out of the scene after the incident.

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Russell was charged with first-degree murder for the alleged murder but got released on a $100,000 bond. Two months later, the bond was revoked with Russell claiming insanity and saying his name is “Jesus Christ.”

Prosecutors denied believing his claim of insanity and refused to drop the charges saying he knew what he was doing when he allegedly killed his wife. But, he was found incompetent to stand trial and was sent for treatment and is now in a mental institution, Rusk State Hospital. The singer still stands to his defense of temporary insanity and undergoing mental valuation while awaiting trial. 

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Similar to his story, Russell’s younger brother Ronald Neal was also charged with murdering his wife, Stovyne Magee in 2008 in Arlington, Texas.