Back in July 2014, Hi-Five member Russell Neal was arrested for the murder of his wife, Catherine Martinez, after he went to the local police station in Houston, TX.
During his visit, the former 90’s star told cops he and his wife had gotten into an argument and that she was in need of medical attention. Police later found Catherine dead in the couple’s Houston Apartment with the cause of death being blunt force trauma. Catherine, a model and fitness trainer and the mother of Neal’s two children, was also stabbed multiple times.
Once the cops did their due diligence, Neal clammed up and requested a lawyer. He was charged with murder and released on a bond of $100,000.
Details surrounding the case and trial have been quiet for the last several years until the series Crime Watch Daily recently did a special on the incident. They interviewed Catherine’s family about their lost loved one, and of course, the family downplayed the relationship, claiming something was off with Neal.
“There was something about him, his eyes, it was just something dark, so I didn’t like him from the get-go,” states Catherine’s sister Emy. “It was just the way he came, like you know, he was really stuck up — ‘You ain’t got no money, stop it.'”
It turns out Neal was lying about his fat pockets and Catherine was said to be the one holding down their household. The family also alleges the Neal was abusive.
“There were bruises and scratches, and she would try to come to our house with makeup, and she would try and cover it up with makeup,” Catherine’s sister Glenda claims. “You would see the foundation, everything trying to cover up her eyes, but we would tell.”
The family also spoke about the incident, which shook the family to the core.
“You couldn’t tell it was her,” Glenda said of the condition of Catherine’s body when she was discovered. According to her family, Neal didn’t go to the police about the incident until two days after she was killed; their kids were locked up in a room in the house during the incident. “I was just hoping they had the wrong person because it didn’t look like her. I mean we all know she was beautiful, but it didn’t look like her at all.”
After more evidence was presented in the case, Neals bail was revoked, and he was sent to prison to wait to stand trial. While in jail, he started to call himself Jesus Christ and has since been placed in a mental institution in Rusk State Hospital in Texas. He is currently deemed incompetent to stand trial — this despite police reportedly stating that he knew what he was doing when he attacked his wife in 2014.
Years prior, Neals brother Ronald was accused of murdering his wife and pleaded incompetence to avoid standing trial. He was abusive to late wife Stovyne Neal, and after she filed for divorce, he attacked her in 2007. He eventually pled guilty and was sentenced to 80 years in jail with the possibility of parole after 30 years.
It’s unclear when the Martinez family will receive justice for Neal’s crime; he has another mental competency hearing in August of this year.
Watch the series below.