A former partner with Austin-based Maund Automotive Group has been indicted on murder-for-hire charges, alongside three others, for killing a man and woman in Nashville in March 2020.
Austinites Erik Charles Maund, Gilad Peled, Bryon Brockway and North Carolina native Adam Carey were additionally charged with conspiracy to kidnap resulting in death and kidnapping resulting in death, according to U.S. Attorney for Middle District of Tennessee Mark H. Wildasin.
The case centers around the murder of 33-year-old Holly Williams, who 47-year-old Maund was allegedly seeing. Upon hearing of the relationship, Williams’ estranged boyfriend William Lanway, allegedly messaged Maund, who is married, asking for hush money. Williams and Lanway were found dead inside a car in Nashville about a month later.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Maund is also facing an additional murder-for-hire charge for trying to arrange to have one of his co-conspirators killed after Peled told Maund in prison they were asking for more money.
The DOJ release said Maund agreed to pay the co-conspirator an additional $25,000, $50,000 to Peled and $100,000 to Brockway to end further payment requests. Since March 11, Maund transferred more than $750,000 to a bank account belonging to Peled, which is believed to be the initial payment.
The four were arrested in December 2021 and remain in custody. If convicted, they could face life in prison.
Austin is one of the top metro areas where homebuyer income saw the greatest surge during the pandemic and it came at a cost to locals.
A new analysis by real estate services firm Redfin reports that affluent out-of-towers have contributed to surging home prices in metros like Austin. Due to this trend, Redfin notes, many local buyers with lower incomes have been priced out.
“For white-collar workers earning high salaries, remote work is a huge financial boon,” said Sheharyar Bokhari, Redfin senior economist. Jobs with that flexibility, Bokhari says, enable them to move from a tech hub like San Francisco to a more affordable part of the country where they can get more home for their money and even put some toward a rainy day fund.
“It can have the opposite effect on locals in those destinations–especially renters–who are watching from the sidelines as home prices skyrocket while their income stays mostly the same,” Bokhari said.
In Austin, the median homebuyer income surged 19% from 2019 to 2021, ultimately reaching $137,000. In that time, the median home price growth was 48%, just behind Boise, Idaho which was more than 50%.
But the housing market is starting to slow. Redfin says high mortgage rates and unsustainable price growth have driven demand down. In fact, Austin is among the 20 housing markets that have cooled the fastest in the first half of this year.
“People are still moving in from California and they still have enough money to buy nice homes in desirable neighborhoods, sometimes with all cash,” said Austin Redfin agent Gabriel Recio. “But the days of homes selling for 25% over asking price with multiple offers are over. Buyers are no longer as eager now that mortgage rates are up and there’s buzz in the air about the slowing housing market.”
As a result, Recio says, local and out-of-town buyers have an opportunity to buy a home at the asking price or even under.
Redfin carried out its analysis using data from the home mortgage disclosure act to review median household incomes for homebuyers who took out a mortgage, though it doesn’t include buyers who paid using all cash.
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School is back in session—do you know the latest TikTok trends?
With Austin ISD resuming session on Monday, school officials are keeping tabs on the newest TikTok trends that could pose classroom disruptions and property damage.
TikTok trends swept through Austin-area schools last year with the “Devious Lick” challenge, which encouraged students to steal from school property and reportedly caused $15,000 in damages at Round Round ISD; and the “slap a staff member” challenge.
On the distraction end, a substitute teacher was dismissed from Bowie High School in December after bringing in a karaoke machine to class and singing Britney Spears’ “Toxic” for the class on TikTok.
Officials told KXAN they are staying aware of the trends as they change during the 2022-2023 school year and the district will investigate perceived threats. Since TikTok trends vary in severity, they will also evaluate to see which trends could cause harm or not.
Finally, the school district said it does not tolerate violence or bullying and will focus its efforts on protecting students both physically and digitally.