KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Roy McGrath, the fugitive former aide to ex-Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, was shot and killed Monday evening during a confrontation with federal authorities. It’s unclear who fired the fatal round, according to reports.
McGrath had been the subject of a three-week manhunt. It began after he fled before the start of his trial for wire fraud, embezzlement, misconduct in office and improper use of state funds last month, the New York Post reported.
Before McGrath’s death, the FBI put out a lengthy statement requesting the public’s assistance in finding him, according to Fox News.
“The FBI is seeking the public’s assistance in locating fugitive Roy C. McGrath, age 53, of Naples, Florida,” the March 28 statement read. “McGrath is now a fugitive and considered an international flight risk.”
The statement continued: “On October 5, 2021, McGrath was indicted in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland for violations of 18 USC 1343 (wire fraud) and 18 USC 666 (theft or bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds). During his October 2021 court appearance, McGrath entered a plea of not guilty on all charges and was released pre-trial on the condition that he appear at all scheduled court dates.”
On Monday at about 6:30 p.m., FBI agents found McGrath near Knoxville, Tenn. He was shot and killed during the confrontation, according to his attorney and federal authorities, the Baltimore Banner reported.
It’s unclear if gunfire from the agents or a self-inflicted wound killed the former Maryland governor’s chief of staff.
“The FBI is reviewing an agent-involved shooting which occurred at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 3, 2023,” the FBI said in a statement to Fox News. “During the arrest, the subject, Roy McGrath, sustained injury and was transported to the hospital. The FBI takes all shooting incidents involving our agents or task force members seriously. In accordance with FBI policy, the shooting incident is under investigation by the FBI’s Inspection Division.”
“It’s an absolute tragedy, the loss of Roy McGrath’s life and the unfortunate events that have transpired over the past three weeks,” McGrath’s attorney, Joseph Murtha, told the Baltimore Banner.
“Roy McGrath never wavered about his innocence,” he added.
Federal law enforcement authorities offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of McGrath, who had evaded authorities since March 13, when he skipped a court date in Baltimore, leading US District Judge Deborah Boardman to issue an arrest warrant.
McGrath was previously head of the Maryland Environmental Service before taking the position as Hogan’s chief of staff in 2020. Prosecutors said he falsified documents and fraudulently obtained a severance payment of $233,647 when he left his post at the agency. He served 11 weeks on Hogan’s staff before resigning in August 2020. The former governor was in support of the FBI investigation.
After McGrath pleaded not guilty in October 2021, a judge granted his pre-trial release on the condition that he appear for future court dates.