Legal troubles

Austin auto dealer charged in murder-for-hire plot

Austin auto dealer charged in murder-for-hire plot

Erik Charles Maund Holly Williams William Lanway death
Holly Williams and William Lanway were found dead in a car in Nashville, Tennessee. Erik Charles Maund, an executive with an Austin auto dealership, has been indicted. Courtesy of KVUE

KVUE — An executive with an Austin-based auto dealership has been indicted for his involvement in the plot to kidnap and murder a man and woman in Tennessee, the KVUE Defenders have confirmed.

According to a federal indictment unsealed Monday, December 13 and obtained by the Defenders, Erik Charles Maund is indicted for conspiring with three other men to kidnap and murder the Tennessee couple.

Erik Charles Maund is the grandson of Charles Maund and, according to the indictment, a partner of Maund Automotive Group, a car dealer in Austin that sells Toyota and Volkswagen cars.

On Tuesday, December 14, federal prosecutors asked that Erik Charles Maund not be released on bond as he is considered to be a flight risk who may “attempt to obstruct justice.” A hearing is set for Thursday, December 16 in federal court.

A representative for Maund Automotive Group had no comment when contacted by the Defenders about this story, and also did not confirm Erik Charles Maund’s status — past, present, or future — with the company.

Erik Charles Maund frequently travels to Nashville to visit a relative, the indictment KVUE obtained states. In February 2020, Erik Charles Maund began texting Holly Williams, 33, whom he previously had a relationship with, ahead of a visit. That woman’s estranged boyfriend, 36-year-old William Lanway, found out and began demanding money from Erik Charles Maund, the indictment alleges.

Lanway allegedly threatened to expose Erik Charles Maund’s relationship with Williams if the executive didn’t pay him.

The estranged couple were found dead in a car in Nashville, Tennessee, on the morning of March 12, 2020. 

Court documents show the couple was kidnapped and shot to death before their bodies were left in a car near a construction site. According to a press release from the government of Nashville, their bodies were discovered by a construction worker.

Federal authorities have been investigating the case ever since, which culminated in connecting Erik Charles Maund to three other men — including two from Austin — who investigators allege carried out the crime.

According to the indictment, Gilad Peled (47), Bryon Brockway (46), and Adam Carey (30) traveled to Nashville to kidnap, threaten, and intimidate Williams and Lanway. The indictment states Erik Charles Maund paid the three men more than $750,000 for the kidnapping and murder.

Peled, Brockway, and Carey all have backgrounds in military and security.

The indictment lists Peled as a former member of the Israeli Defense Forces, and the owner of Speartip Security, a security services company based in Austin.

Brockway, the indictment says, is a former U.S. Marine. He also owns a security company, Ink Force LLC.

Carey was also a former Marine and contractor for security companies within the private sector.

Recent Google reviews for Speartip Security appeared to show reviews from Erik Charles Maund and Brockway.

A review under the name Erik Maund from Tuesday, December 7, read, “Speartip is very professional and on top of it. They get the job done in an expedited time. Couldn’t imagine using anyone else!!”

The Maund Automotive Group has its roots in Port Arthur. Charles Maund opened a used car lot there in 1945 at the age of 18, according to the company’s website. He eventually expanded his operations before buying 50 percent interest in the Oldsmobile-Cadillac dealership in Port Arthur in 1953.

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