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Tony Thompson

TONY THOMPSON- ACCIDENTALLY OVERDOSEDTony Thompson was known for his high pitched lead vocals on most of Hi-Five’s records. In 2007, he was just on his way to reviving his career and had also formed his new record label and signed Hi-Five to get things crackin’ again, but that’s when tragedy struck. Sadly, Tony was found dead outside of a Waco, TX apartment complex, by two of the complex’s security guards. He was found next to the air conditioning units located behind the apartments and he died from huffing a toxic amount of freon from the air conditioning units. Freon is a hydrocarbon that is widely used in air conditioners and refrigerators.

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Tony’s autopsy report was released by a medical examiner at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas, Tx. It stated Tony had a history of inhaling freon. It also stated that no other drugs, nor alcohol were found in his body, but that his bloodstream did contain trace amounts of methadone, a drug commonly used to combat heroin addiction.

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Roderick “Pooh” Clark (front center of pic)

RODERICK “POOH” CLARK IS NOW PARALYZEDIn 1993, one of the original members of Hi-Five, Roderick “Pooh” Clark, was involved in a near fatal car accident, leaving him permanently paralyzed.


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Roderick Clark (C) with fellow Hi-Five members, Treston (L) and Marcus (R)

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Toriano pictured top right in dark blue and black striped shirt

TORIANO EASELY SERVED TIME IN PRISON FOR FIRST DEGREE MURDERAccording to an LA Times 1990 report, ‘HI-5 singer Toriano L. Easley was arrested for first-degree murder in Oklahoma City on Sept 1. <1990>. According to Oklahoma City Police Capt. Jim Gallegly, the singer allegedly shot an acquaintance following a heated argument. Easley, who sang background vocals on the HI-5 release “I Just Can’t Handle It” reportedly expelled from the group.’ Torriano was 17 at the time of the shooting and arrest and he reportedly served most of his 15 year prison sentence.


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MARCUS SANDERSMarcus is the only member who hasn’t been struck by some horrible crime or tragedy, thank goodness.

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We’re not sure how all of this happened within one group, but something clearly went wrong in their lives at various times, with the exception of Treston, who was a victim of circumstance rather than a self inflicter of his own demise. In the cases of Tony Thompson and Russell Neal it’s possible that they didn’t know how to handle the reality of not being relevant singers anymore, and therefore took it out on themselves and in Russell’s case, on someone else whom he was supposed to have loved (there is no excuse that could ever justify what Russell allegedly did though). In Torriano’s case, maybe he was just a kid who needed guidance long before he ever became a star. Who knows what the real reasons are, but this just goes to show that although Hi-Five appeared to be a group of young brothas who lived life on the straight and narrow, you never know what’s really going on behind closed doors.