Russell Neal, an R&B singer and former member of the popular 90s boy band Hi-Five, remains admitted to a mental institution at Rusk State Hospital in Texas for the 2014 murder of his wife, Catherine Martinez, at her Houston apartment. He was found unfit to stand trial by reason of insanity after being charged with first-degree murder.
Authorities found Martinez brutally beaten and stabbed to death in July 2014, after Neal walked into the Houston Police Department and told authorities about the fight he had with his wife and how she needed medical attention. Revelations made after the killing depicted the former singer as a struggling artist and abusive husband.
ID's Death by Fame is slated to further delve into Catherine Martinez's killing in an upcoming episode titled The Killing Game this Monday, February 20, 2023, at 9 pm ET. The synopsis states:
"In Houston, Texas, aspiring model Catherine Martinez falls for a former pop star she believes to be her ticket to stardom; however, when ambition and jealousy collide, a Hollywood dream becomes a real-life nightmare."
Former Hi-Five singer Russell Neal went to the police two days after killing his wife
Russell Neal, a member of the 90s boyband Hi-Five, was arrested in July 2014, after authorities found his wife Catherine Martinez dead in her Houston, Texas, apartment. He voluntarily walked into the police department and confessed about getting into a fight with his wife and her needing medical attention.
Martinez, a fitness model and trainer, died of blunt force injuries and multiple stab wounds. According to True Crime Daily, her sister, Glenda Lewis, spoke about the time authorities discovered the victim's body, stating,
"You couldn't tell it was her. 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."
Her mother, Mary Figueroa, added that they "couldn't recognize [her]" and that the only thing recognizable about her "was her teeth, her mouth, you know the way she would smile. That's what I recognized about her."
Prior to the murder, the couple's relationship was in a bad place. Russell Neal was allegedly abusive toward Catherine Martinez and failed to provide her with the life he had promised. She had to become the breadwinner for the family. Her family members talked about the bruises and scratches they noticed all over her body. They also claimed she tried to cover it all up with makeup.
However, Martinez asserted that Neal was a good father as he kept making promises to change. But things took a horrific turn after she saw her mother on June 28, 2014, a few days before she was found dead at her apartment.
According to reports, Neal went to the police two days after he killed her. Their two sons were locked up in a different room in the same house at the time.
Where is Russell Neal now?
Russell Neal was eventually arrested and charged with first-degree murder. He was nonetheless released on bail, which was revoked about a month later. While in jail, he started calling himself Jesus Christ. Prosecutors alleged that he started "playing crazy" and was found unfit to stand trial.
Ever since, Neal has been admitted to a mental institution at Rusk State Hospital in Texas, despite authorities' claims that he knew what he was doing when he attacked his wife in 2014.
ID's Death by Fame episode detailing Russell Neal's case will air on Monday, February 20, 2023, at 9 pm ET.