Russell Lamont Neal was once a member of the popular 90s R&B group, Hi-Five. He had all the makings of a classic boy-band idol, with a clean-cut image and a “good guy” persona. But as it turned out, his life wasn’t as perfect as it seemed.
In 2014, Russell made headlines when he confessed to killing his 24-year-old wife, Catherine “Brasilia” Martinez. He walked into a Houston sheriff’s department building and told the police that his wife was dead, before calmly waiting for them to arrest him. “My wife is dead. I would like an attorney.” he said.
When police arrived at the couple’s apartment, they found Catherine’s body on the living room floor, covered with a blanket and with multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma injuries to her head.
According to court records, Russell and Catherine’s two young children were in the home at the time of the murder. Catherine’s family claims that one of the children allegedly walked out of their room during the attack, and that Russell allegedly told his child that the red stains on his shoes were “ketchup” before sending the child back into the room.
Russell was released on a $100,000 bond while he awaited trial, but he was later arrested by the U.S. Marshal’s Service deputies in May 2015, in Waco, TX, after failing to appear for a court date related to Catherine’s murder.
When police arrived to arrest him, they found him showing suicidal tendencies, and he was eventually deemed too incompetent to stand trial and was confined to a mental institution, despite officers reportedly stating that he knew what he was doing when he killed Catherine.
Russell apparently insists that his bail-bondsman and everyone else refer to him as “Jesus Christ.” Catherine’s family believes that Russell is putting on an act to avoid being sent to prison.
Catherine’s mother was faced with the devastating sight of her daughter’s body. She said that she could only recognize her daughter’s teeth and mouth, the way she would smile. Catherine’s family believes that Russell is faking his mental illness to avoid being sent to prison. “He’s trying to play crazy,” said Catherine’s sister, Emy.
Interestingly, Russell’s younger brother, Ronald Neal, had already been convicted of killing his own wife years before Russell confessed to murdering Catherine.
According to Stovyne’s family, Ronald was abusive towards her, and they had never liked him. Stovyne’s brother, Kevin Wesley, said that she had told him about how Ronald would jump on her, lock her up in the closet, and whip her with a belt or belt buckle. Her sister-in-law, Niecy, said that if Stovyne ever wore makeup, it was to hide bruises or black eyes.
In 2007, Ronald reportedly got drunk and knocked Stovyne to the ground, while also spraying disinfectant in her face. He was charged with assault, but things took a turn for the worse when Stovyne filed for divorce. According to Niecy, Ronald called her and said, “Bitch, get your black dress ready because I’m fixing to kill this bitch.”
Later that day, Stovyne was found dead in her home, with her throat slashed. Ronald was eventually convicted of murder and sentenced to 60 years in prison.