NASHVILLE – Four men indicted in December in a kidnapping conspiracy that resulted in the murders of a Nashville man and woman in March 2020 have now been charged with murder for hire, announced U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin for the Middle District of Tennessee.
A federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment on Monday, charging Erik Charles Maund, 47, Gilad Peled, 48, and Bryon Brockway, 47, all of Austin, Texas, and Adam Carey, 31, of Richlands, North Carolina, with murder for hire, conspiracy to kidnap resulting in death, and kidnapping resulting in death.
According to the indictment, Maund, a partner in Maund Automotive Group in Austin, Texas, sometimes travelled to Nashville to visit a relative and, in early February 2020, he emailed a woman (H.W.) with whom he had had a prior relationship, for the purpose of seeing her during his upcoming visit to Nashville on February 5-7.
After his visit to Nashville, on March 1, 2020, Maund received a series of text messages from an individual (W.L.) who had a personal romantic relationship with H.W. W.L. demanded payment from Maund and threatened to expose Maund’s relationship with H.W. if W.L. did not receive the money. Maund then enlisted the services of Peled, Brockway, and Carey to assist with dealing with the threats to expose his relationship with H.W. and the extortionate demands.
The indictment further alleges that on March 5, 2020, Maund withdrew $15,000 from his bank account, and on that same day an “intelligence report” was prepared and provided to Peled by a relative of Brockway who worked for an internet-based security company.
A series of actions were then undertaken by Carey and others, including travelling from out of state to Nashville to surveil H.W. and W.L. and creating and using a Pinger account to attempt to communicate with H.W. and L.W. On March 9, 2020, Peled received a document entitled “Tennessee Sitrep,” which stated that Carey and others had surveilled H.W.; confirmed her address and vehicle; confirmed that W.L. had been staying at the same address; and advised that Carey and others would use everything at their disposal to stop the attempted extortion of Maund.
On March 11, 2020, Peled deposited $8,000 in cash into Speartip Security’s business account and $7,000 in cash into his personal bank account. The following day, Maund transferred $150,000, via wire, from his bank account to a bank account controlled by Peled. On that same day, Brockway and Carey, while armed with firearms, confronted H.W. and W.L. in the parking lot of H.W.’s apartment complex in Nashville and murdered W.L. by shooting him multiple times. They then kidnapped H.W. and drove her and the body of W.L. to a construction site on Old Hickory Boulevard in Nashville, where they murdered H.W. by shooting her several times. 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.
Carey then drove Brockway to Memphis, Tennessee, and Brockway caught a flight to Austin, Texas. Carey then drove to Austin from Memphis.
The indictment also alleges that between March 11, 2020, and the present, Maund transferred in excess of $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 H.W. and W.L.
All defendants were arrested on December 10, 2021and remain in custody. The indictment also alleges that after being arrested, Peled informed Maund that one of the co-conspirators involved in the kidnapping and murders wanted more money as payment for the criminal acts. Maund agreed to pay the co-conspirator an additional $25,000 and then offered Peled $50,000 to arrange to pay Brockway $100,000 for the murder of the co-conspirator, to cut off any future requests for payment for the original murders.
If convicted, all defendants face up to life in prison.
In addition to the Memphis FBI Field Office and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, investigative and arrest assistance was provided by FBI Field Offices in Charlotte, North Carolina; San Diego, California; San Antonio, Texas; the FBI Critical Incident Response Group; the Naval Criminal Investigative Service; the Texas Department of Public Safety; the Austin, Texas Police Department; the Williamson County, Texas Sheriff’s Department; the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina; and the Jacksonville, North Carolina Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert McGuire and Brent Hannafan of the Middle District of Tennessee are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bryan Stephany of the Eastern District of North Carolina; Matt Harding of the Western District of Texas; and Derek Ko of the Southern District of California.
An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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