A prominent Texas auto businessman is being accused of hiring two former U.S. Marines and a self-proclaimed former member of the Israeli Defense Forces to kill his mistress and her former boyfriend, federal prosecutors allege.
According to investigators, Erik Charles Maund hired three men to shoot the pair. The motive, investigators say: The former boyfriend called Maund, who is married, to extort him by threatening to expose the affair.
The price for silence: more than $750,000 for the March 2020 hits, the federal indictment unsealed Monday said.
The bodies of Holly A. Williams, 33, and William L. Lanway, 36, were discovered in March 2020 in a white 2005 Acura at a Nashville, Tenn., construction site, according to authorities and published reports. At the time, Nashville police said they were looking for three men who were seen outside Williams’ apartment — and captured on camera — a few days before the homicides.
According to the indictment, Maund traveled frequently to Nashville to see what FBI agents described as a family member. In February 2020, he emailed Williams to alert her he would be in Nashville again and wanted to see her.
While staying at a downtown hotel, he texted her on Feb. 5 from a phone number linked to his company: “Good morning beautiful! Looking forward to later today. I’m in Nashville. I will meet you in the bar like last time. Text when you arrive,” according to the indictment.
About three weeks later, Maund received a text message from Lanway, who said he wanted money or he would expose the affair with Williams, investigators said. The document did not say how much money Lanway demanded.
After the text message, Maund “set events in motion to kidnap, threaten and intimidate (Williams and Lanway) in retaliation,” the indictment said.
He contacted Gilad Peled, who operated the Austin-based firm Speartip Security, which the indictment said specialized in “responding to extortion demands.”
The indictment said two other men, Bryon Brockway and Adam Carey, joined the plot but did not describe how they were associated with Maund. But it added that Maund hired them either “directly or indirectly.”
According to federal investigators, Maund withdrew $15,000 from his bank account the same day an “intelligence report” was prepared and given to Peled by a relative of Brockway’s who worked for a security company.
On March 9, 2020, Peled received a document stating that Carey and others had surveilled Williams and “would use everything at their disposal to stop the attempted extortion of Maund,” federal officials said.
Federal officials said they tracked money flowing from Maund to Peled “as payment to Peled, Broadway, and Carey for the kidnapping and murder.”
According to the indictment, Brockway and Carey confronted Williams and Lanway in the parking lot of their apartment complex and kidnapped them. Landway died first, shot in the head, and the pair then shot Williams, also in the head, the indictment says.
Maund then completed the payments for the contract killings, prosecutors said.
Investigators said that this weekend police in Austin pulled over Maund during a traffic stop and arrested him for the killings. Authorities apprehended Peled at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Brockway was arrested in San Diego, and Carey was arrested at his home in North Carolina.
Attorneys Perry Minton and Sam Bassett represent Maund and said in a statement Monday: “We have spoken to Mr. Maund only briefly on the matter. We will understand more in the coming days and weeks. The entire Maund family loves and supports their son.”
The men remained in federal custody Monday. They face up to life in prison if convicted.