Tenn. Couple Is Killed in Alleged $750,000 Murder-for-Hire Plot Designed to Keep Suspect's Affair Secret

Holly Williams and her estranged boyfriend, William Lanway, were fatally shot after Lanway allegedly tried to blackmail the suspected ringleader of the murder plot

Holly Williams; William Lanway
Holly Williams and William Lanway. Photo: Metro Nashville Police Department

A prominent Texas auto dealer allegedly paid more than $750,000 to two former special operations Marines and a man who claims he is a former member of the Israeli Defense Forces to kill his former mistress and her estranged boyfriend, federal prosecutors said Monday.

Erik Charles Maund, 46, of Austin, Texas, a partner in the Maund Automotive Group in Austin, is charged along with three other men in connection with the 2020 killings of Holly Williams, 33, and William Lanway, 36, in Nashville, Tenn., according to a federal indictment that was unsealed Monday.

On March 12, 2020, Williams and Lanway were found shot to death in a car that had rolled down a hill and crashed into a tree at a construction site.

Erik Charles Maund
Erik Maund. Metro Nashville Police Department

The unsealed indictment charges Maund, whose grandfather founded the prestigious auto group where he worked, and three men he allegedly hired to surveil and kill Williams and Lanway, with conspiracy to commit kidnapping; kidnapping resulting in death; and carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, according to a release from the U.S. District Attorney's Office in the Middle District of Tennessee.

According to the indictment, the others charged are: Gilad Peled, 47, of Austin, "who held himself out to be a former member of the Israeli Defense Forces" and is the owner of a security company in Austin, Texas, which specialized in "responding to extortion demands"; Bryon Brockway, 46, of Austin, a former active-duty United States Marine who previously served in Force Recon, a Special Operations Capable unit, and is the owner of Ink Force LLC, also a security company in Austin and Adam Carey, 30, of Richlands, North Carolina, a former active duty United States Marine who had previously served in the Marine Corps' Special Operations Group.

Gilad Peled
Gilad Peled. Metro Nashville Police Department
Bryon Brockway
Bryon Brockway. Metro Nashville Police Department
Adam Carey, 30
Adam Carey. Metro Nashville Police Department

According to the indictment, Maund, who was married at the time, sometimes traveled to Nashville to visit a relative.

On Feb. 3, 2020, using an alias, he emailed Williams, with whom he had had a prior relationship, the indictment says, and said he would be in Nashville on Wednesday and Thursday night and "would love to see you…again."

On Feb. 5, while staying at a hotel in Nashville, Maund texted Williams, saying, "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."

On March 1, 2020, after his visit to Nashville, Maund "received a series of text messages from Lanway, "who had a personal romantic relationship" with Williams, the indictment says.

Lanway demanded payment from Maund and threatened to expose his relationship with Williams if he did not receive it.

"Maund then enlisted the services of Peled, Brockway and Carey to assist with dealing with the threats to expose his relationship" with Williams and the extortion demands, the indictment alleges.

On March 5, 2020, Maund allegedly withdrew $15,000 from his bank account, the same day an "intelligence report" was prepared and provided to Peled by a relative of Brockway who worked for an internet-based security company, the indictment says.

"Carey and others" traveled to Nashville to surveil Williams and Lanway, it alleges.

On March 9, 2020, Peled received a document entitled "Tennessee Sitrep," which stated that Carey and others had surveilled Williams, confirmed her address and vehicle and confirmed that Lanway had been staying at the same address, it says.

The document "advised that Carey and others would use everything at their disposal to stop the attempted extortion of Maund," the indictment alleges.

On March 11, 2020, Peled deposited $8,000 in cash into his business account and $7,000 in cash into his personal bank account, the indictment alleges. The following day, Maund transferred $150,000, via wire, from his bank account to a bank account controlled by Peled, it alleges.

On that same day, Brockway and Carey, who were armed, allegedly confronted Williams and Lanway in the parking lot of her Nashville apartment complex and killed Lanway by shooting him multiple times, the indictment says.

They kidnapped Williams and drove her and Lanway's lifeless body to a construction site on Old Hickory Boulevard in Nashville, where they murdered her by shooting her several times, the indictment alleges.

crashed car

"The bodies were then discarded at the construction site and within hours of the murders, the Pinger account used to communicate was deleted and a rental car rented by Brockway was returned," the indictment says.

Carey then drove Brockway to Memphis, Tenn., and Brockway caught a flight to Austin, Texas. Carey then drove to Austin from Memphis.

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Since March 11, 2020, Maund allegedly transferred more than $750,000, via wire, from his bank account to an account controlled by Peled, as payment to Peled, Brockway and Carey for the kidnapping and murder of Williams and Lanway, the indictment says.

On Friday, FBI agents and Metro Nashville Police detectives arrested all four suspects in several states.

If convicted, the defendants face up to life in prison.

In a statement to the Austin American-Statesman, Maund's attorneys, Perry Minton and Sam Bassett, said, "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."

Paled, Brockway and Carey did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's requests for comment.

It is unclear whether they have hired attorneys who can speak on their behalf or if any of the defendants have entered pleas.

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