Auto dealer charged in conspiracy that kills Tennessee couple: Feds

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An Austin, Texas car dealership and three men have been charged in a murder-for-hire conspiracy that killed a couple in Nashville, Tennessee, federal prosecutors say.

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A car dealership and three other men have been charged in a murder-for-hire conspiracy more than two years after a Tennessee couple were shot and dumped at a Nashville construction site, federal prosecutors say.

Auto dealer, Erik Charles Maund, 47, of Austin, Texas, is accused of paying more than $750,000 to three men for participating in the murder of the woman, with whom he once had a relationship, and her boyfriend, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee.

In addition to Maund, Gilad Peled, 48, and Bryon Brockway, 47, also of Austin, and Adam Carey, 31, of Richlands, North Carolina, were accused of murder for hire, conspiracy to kidnap causing death and kidnapping causing death in a superseding indictment, according to a July 28 news release. Brockway and Carey were former active-duty marines and Peled was a former member of the Israel Defense Forces, according to court documents.

McClatchy News contacted the attorneys listed for the men on July 29. A lawyer for Maund declined to comment.

Before the Nashville couple were shot in March 2020, Maund, a married man, was a partner at Maund Automotive Group in Austin, an indictment says. This company had Toyota and Volkswagen dealerships and was founded by Maund’s father.

In February 2020, Maund messaged the Nashville woman that he would be in the area and told her he would “love to see her again,” according to court documents. Then he would have arranged to meet her at a hotel in Nashville where he was staying.

Their communications led to the woman’s boyfriend texting Maund with demands for money or he would expose their relationship, prosecutors say.

The murder-for-hire conspiracy

To deal with the man’s ‘extortion demands’, Maund is accused of hiring Brockway, Carey and Peled who at the time owned a security services company involved in responding to extortion attempts , according to an indictment.

Then the Nashville couple were unknowingly put under surveillance by Carey and others who traveled to Tennessee to surveil them and used a Pinger account to try to contact them, the press release said.

On March 9, 2020, two days before the murders, Peled received a document showing the address and car of the woman’s apartment complex, along with information confirming that the man had stayed at her home, prosecutors say.

The document “also indicated that Carey and others would use everything at their disposal to stop Maund’s extortion attempt,” the statement said.

Murders

On March 11, 2020, prosecutors say Brockway and Carey, armed with firearms, arrived at the woman’s apartment complex and confronted the couple before shooting the man dead in the parking lot.

Brockway and Carey are accused of then kidnapping the woman and loading the man’s body into a car before driving to a construction site in Nashville, the statement said.

On the spot, the woman was shot several times and her body, as well as that of the man, were “thrown there”, according to the prosecutors.

“A few hours after the murders, the Pinger account used to communicate was deleted and a rental car rented by Brockway was returned,” the statement said.

That same day, Maund transferred more than $750,000 to a bank account controlled by Peled to pay the three men for the “kidnapping and murder” of the couple, prosecutors say.

The four men were arrested in December 2021 and have remained in police custody ever since, according to the statement.

While in custody, Maund was charged with trying to have a co-conspirator killed after he wanted more money for participating in the alleged crimes, prosecutors say.

“Maund agreed to pay the co-conspirator an additional $25,000, then offered Peled $50,000 to arrange to pay Brockway $100,000 for the murder of the co-conspirator, to cut off any future demands for payment. for the original murders,” the statement read.

If the four men are found guilty of the charges against them, they could be sentenced to life in prison, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Julia Marnin is a McClatchy National Real-Time reporter covering the Southeast and Northeast while based in New York. She is an alumnus of the College of New Jersey and joined McClatchy in 2021. Previously she has written for Newsweek, Modern Luxury, Gannett and more.


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