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'90s R&B star Russell Neal faces murder charges in wife's death

By Lorenza Brascia, CNN
updated 10:06 AM EDT, Sat July 5, 2014
Farrah Franklin, 33, was arrested near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on a disorderly conduct charge on Sunday, July 20. The former Destiny's Child member was released on $280 bail after seven hours in custody, according to the Horry County Sheriff's Office website. Farrah Franklin, 33, was arrested near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on a disorderly conduct charge on Sunday, July 20. The former Destiny's Child member was released on $280 bail after seven hours in custody, according to the Horry County Sheriff's Office website.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • '90s R&B singer Russell Neal turned himself in, police say
  • He said his wife was dead, and that they'd been in a fight, police say
  • Neal is in police custody awaiting arraignment

(CNN) -- Former Hi-Five R&B singer Russell Neal is in custody after turning himself in to police on July 2, saying his wife was dead in their Houston apartment.

After Houston Fire Department paramedics forced entry into the apartment, they pronounced Catherine Martinez, 24, dead of multiple stab wounds and blunt force head trauma.

Officer Richard Ridel of Houston Police Department's homicide unit initially questioned Neal, 40, when he turned himself in at the station. According to Ridel, after Neal was read his Miranda rights, he refused to provide further statements without a lawyer present. Neal did, however, say he and his wife had been in an argument before her death.

Police don't know if Neal and Martinez's two sons, ages 3 and 4, were at the scene of their mother's killing. The children are now in the care of Neal's mother.

Officers will interview the couple's family and neighbors to "see what their relationship was like" and "whether or not they fought a lot," Ridel said.

Neal is best known for Hi-Five's No. 1 song, "I Like The Way (The Kissing Game)."

Debbie Egel, an attorney for Hi-Five, said, "We are aware of the current situation in Houston, Texas, involving Russell Neal, former member of the legendary '90's R&B group Hi-Five. We are presently evaluating the situation. The group is in the studio recording and Mr. Neal was not a part of the upcoming project. Bronx Most Wanted Entertainment will continue to monitor the situation."

Egel added on behalf of the group, "This is an unfortunate situation and our prayers go out to both families involved."

In 2009, Neal faced various charges throughout the year including DWI, marijuana possession, resisting arrest, and driving with an invalid license with previous convictions.

Neal's court date is set for July 7, 2014. He remains in jail with a bond set at $100,000.

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