Both Hi-Five Singer And His Brother Were Jailed For Their Wives’ Deaths, Tragic Details

Posted On : May 16, 2022
(L) Hi-Five singer, Russell Lamont Neal; (R) Throwback photo of the group, Hi-Five

When Russell Lamont Neal skyrocketed to fame as part of the ’90s R&B sensation group, Hi-Five, he seemed like the picture-perfect boy-band kinda guy. He was clean-cut, seemed to have a ‘good guy’ persona…at least from the outside looking end. Well, as we all know, everything ain’t always what it seems…that rule of thumb holds true for Lamont, and also for his brother, Ronald Neal. Both men are currently doing time for reportedly killing their wives, and this story only gets more heartbreaking from here.

Details Of The Murder Of Ronald Lamont Neal’s Wife

In June 2014, Russell apparently confessed to murdering his 24-year-old-wife – fitness model and aspiring boxer, Catherine “Brasilia” Martinez.

Russel’s wife, whom he reportedly murdered, Catherine “Brasilia” Martinez

Russell was living in Houston, TX at the time of the incident. Houston police said that he walked into the Houston sheriff’s department building and stated something like ‘My wife is dead. I would like an attorney.’ He then calmly waited for the cops to question him and take him away. The cops eventually arrested him without incident.

One witness said “He wasn’t resisting arrest or fighting with them, or saying anything. When they brought him out in handcuffs, he was just as calm as can be and they just put him in a police car.”

After Russell was booked, he told police Catherine’s body was at their home at the apartment complex. Police said they had to break the door down and once inside, they found Catherine Martinez, dead on the living room floor with multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma injuries to her head. Her body was covered with a blanket and her autopsy results showed that she died from puncture wounds. He was later released on $100,000 bond as he awaited trial.

Russell Lamont Neal’s mugshot (May 2015)

According to court records, Russell’s and Catherine’s two young children were in the home during the murder. Catherine’s family says one of their children allegedly walked out of their room during the attack, and that Russell allegedly told his child that the red stains (allegedly Catherine’s blood) on his shoes was “ketchup”…before sending the child back into the room.

By May 2015, U.S. Marshal’s Service deputies arrested Russell Lamont Neal, in Waco, TX after a warrant was issued out of Harris County, on charges that he failed to appear for a court date in connection with the July 2014 murder of his wife Catherine. The weird thing is that authorities say earlier that day, police were called to the residence Russell was in, after someone reported that a person there was showing suicidal tendencies.

The police showed up, spoke with Russell and then left because they said that the court time had not passed yet, so they had no basis for arresting him. Later that same day, Russell skipped out on court and the police went back to the home and arrested him.

Russell being led to cop car after he turned himself in.
Russell being led to cop car after he turned himself in.

At the county morgue, Catherine’s mom is faced with something no mother should ever see.

“You couldn’t recognize, the only thing I recognize about her, it was her teeth, her mouth, you know the way she would smile,” said Mary Figueroa. “That’s what I recognized on her.”

The last we’ve heard is that Russell is currently confined to a mental institution, after the court deemed him to be ‘too incompetent’ to stand trial…even though officers reportedly stated ‘he knew what he was doing when he killed Catherine.’ The ‘insanity’ conclusion apparently was determined after Russell supposedly said he longer answers to the name, Russell, and instead insisted that his bail-bondsman (and presumably everyone else) refer to him as “Jesus Christ.”

Catherine’s family thinks Russell’s putting on an act to avoid being sent to prison. “At Rusk State Hospital. He’s trying to play crazy,” said Catherine’s sister, Emy.

Russell’s Brother’s Story Is Eerily Similar

Years prior to Russell reportedly confessing to murdering his wife, his younger brother, Ronald Neal, had already been convicted for doing the same to his. Ronald was convicted of killing his 29-year old wife, Stovyne Magee.

Mugshots of the Neal brothers: (L) Hi-Five singer, Russell Lamont Neal; (R) Lamont’s brother, Ronald Neal

Stovyne’s family never really liked Ronald:

Via True Crime Daily- “She had started telling me stuff like bits and pieces of things,” said Kevin Wesley, Stovyne’s brother. “Like you know how he would jump on her and lock her up in the closet and whipped her with a belt one time and with a belt buckle.”

“She wouldn’t hardly ever wear makeup, but if she put on ‘makeup-makeup,’ she was hiding something, you know, a bruise or a black eye or something,” said Niecy, [Stovyne’s sister-in-law].

In 2007, Stovyne’s family says things took a turn for the worst, after Ronald reportedly got drunk and knocked Stovyne to the ground, while also spraying disinfectant in her face.:

Via TCD – Police take a report on Stovyne’s injuries and Ronald Neal is charged with assault.
“She was done at that point,” said Kevin Wesley. …

“When he found out that she had filed for divorce, he had took some TVs, computers and stuff like that, and he left, and he called me that same day and he said ‘Yeah, this divorce ain’t gonna be easy.'”

And it’s not. The divorce turns deadly.

“Thursday morning when I turned my phone on, on my way to work, I had this phone call from Ronald,” said Niecy. “I’m like ‘Hello.’ He said — this is what he told me: ‘Bitch, get your black dress ready because I’m fixing to kill this bitch.'”

The day that Stovyne filed for divorce, Ronald did what he said he would…he reportedly killed her at her home. Stovyne’s 10-year-old son called 911 and stated Ronald had dragged his mom into the bedroom. The child pleaded for help.

Via TCD – “My mom said ‘Please Ronald, don’t hurt me,'” the boy tells the 911 operator. “Please, please rush ’cause she’s crying, please.”

The phone call disconnected after shots were fired, reportedly hitting Stovyne five times.

When cops arrived, Ronald barricaded himself inside the home, which led to a two-hour standoff. By the time they were able to get inside, Stovyne was already deceased.

Ronald reportedly planned on pleading insanity, but he eventually pled guilty to murdering his wife, Stovyne. He is currently serving an 80-year sentence in prison.

So many questions. Could Russell Neal have followed his brother, Ronald Neal’s, initial plan of appearing to be insane to avoid prison? Did they learn such volatile behavior from their upbringing as kids? Thoughts, ILOSM family?

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