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Two Men Charged In Slaying of Diana Ross’ Brother

August 14, 1996 GMT

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) _ Two men have been charged in the suffocation deaths of Diana Ross’ brother and his wife.

Ricky Vernor Brooks, 44, and Ramel Levertis Howard, 22, were jailed without bail Tuesday on charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and felony murder.

``It appears drug-related. I won’t say more than that,″ Oak Park police Lt. Bob Bauer told WWJ-AM in Detroit.

The bodies of Arthur Ross, 47, and his wife of 10 months, Patricia Ann Robinson, 54, were found June 22 in the basement of a house Brooks had rented in suburban Detroit. The couple had been dead at least three weeks.

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Police arrested Brooks and his girlfriend, Regina Smith, last month on unrelated charges after finding them hiding under a bed in a Detroit apartment. Smith is not a suspect, police said. Bauer described Howard and Ross as friends.

Ross was living mainly off the royalties of songs he had written in the 1970s when his sister got him a job with Motown records. He had only intermittent contact with his family.