Man accused of killing wife in west Houston appears before judge

By Nakia Cooper - Senior Web Editor

HOUSTON - Charges have been filed against a man who police say killed his wife at their west Houston apartment.  Russell Neal, 40, went before a judge Friday morning.

Neal allegedly showed up at a Harris County Sheriff's Office station on San Jacinto on Wednesday evening and told a deputy his wife was dead inside their apartment.

Neal told detectives he and his wife had an argument, then he stopped cooperating and said he wanted his attorney, police say.

When Houston police and firefighters arrived at the couple's home at the Cedar Creek Townhomes on Tanglewilde the door was locked.

Police say they had to force their way into the home.

Once inside, they found the wife, 24-year-old Catherine Martinez, dead on the living room floor with multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma injuries to her head. Her body had been covered with a blanket.

An autopsy determined she died from puncture wounds.

Police say they also found signs that children were living in the home with the couple.

When detectives questioned Neal about his children's whereabouts, he said they were with a family member.

Neighbors say the woman was a great mother who was always with her two young boys. But the last few days they say her car hasn't moved from its parking spot.

"It has been parked there for days. She hasn't moved around too much, I haven't seen here. I usually see her with her sons when she takes them to school, but I haven't seen her," said Paquita Dillon.

According to published reports, Neal was a singer in the 1990's R&B group, Hi-Five. One of the group's most popular hits was "I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)," which spent a couple of weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

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