Who Was Roy McGrath? Ex-Maryland Governor Larry Hogan's Fugitive Former Chief of Staff Shot Dead in Standoff with Cops

McGrath had fled before the start of his trial last month for wire fraud, embezzlement, official misconduct, and inappropriate use of public funds.

A fugitive former aide of ex-Maryland and Republican Governor Larry Hogan was shot dead on Monday night following a confrontation with the FBI. Roy McGrath, 53, the chief of staff of Hogan succumbed to gunshot wounds after a standoff with police, his attorney confirmed.

McGrath's death came after FBI agents searched the house of the former GOP staff member after he skipped a federal trial on fraud charges stemming from accusations that he used his powerful position to steal more than $230,000 in state monies. McGrath's death brings an end to an extensive three-week-long manhunt for him after he fled before the start of the trail.

Chase Ends in Death

Roy McGrath
Roy McGrath Twitter

According to his lawyer and federal authorities, FBI investigators located McGrath near Knoxville, Tennessee, at around 6:30 pm on Monday. During the confrontation, he was shot and died, the Baltimore Banner reported.

McGrath had fled before the start of his trial last month for wire fraud, embezzlement, official misconduct, and inappropriate use of public funds.

Roy McGrath
Roy McGrath Twitter

However, it's unclear if it was agent gunfire or a self-inflicted wound that killed the former Maryland governor's chief of staff.

"It's an absolute tragedy, the loss of Roy McGrath's life and the unfortunate events that have transpired over the past three weeks," Joseph Murtha, McGrath's attorney, told the Baltimore Banner.

"Roy McGrath never wavered about his innocence," he added.

The FBI had earlier stated that McGrath, a former top adviser to Hogan, had been taken to the hospital after an agent-involved shooting, but it opted not to provide further details.

Roy McGrath
Roy McGrath Twitter

"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," an FBI statement said.

Laura Bruner, McGrath's wife, was "extremely distraught," according to Laura Bruner's attorney William Brennan, who also confirmed his death.

End of Chase

In October 2021, McGrath was charged with wire fraud and falsifying records. He pleaded not guilty and was released on bond, but he did not show up in court for his trial. The Justice Department's U.S. Marshals Service announced last month that it had launched a nationwide fugitive investigation and had put up a sign identifying McGrath as "Wanted."

Larry Hogan
Larry Hogan Twitter

The FBI also offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to McGrath's arrest after he missed a court date in Baltimore on March 13.

The prosecution claims that McGrath fabricated paperwork and illegally collected a $233,647 severance payment when he left his position as the Maryland Environmental Service's director to become Hogan's chief of staff in 2020.

He worked as Hogan's chief of staff for 11 weeks.

Hogan, who served as Maryland's governor from 2015 to 2023, had thought of seeking the GOP presidential candidacy in 2024 as a detractor of President Trump. However, Hogan announced last month, before McGrath went missing, that he would not be running.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Hogan expressed his sadness over the "tragic situation" in a statement along with his wife Yumi Hogan.

"We are praying for Mr. McGrath's family and loved ones," Hogan said.

After McGrath failed to show up at Baltimore's federal courts on March 13, Murtha said that he thought McGrath, who had relocated to Naples, Florida, was going to board a flight to Maryland the previous evening.

Roy McGrath
Roy McGrath seen standing behind Larry Hogan Twitter

However, instead of starting the jury selection process, the judge issued an arrest warrant and disqualified the potential jurors.

"I didn't see this coming," Murtha said at the time. "This behavior is so out of the ordinary for him. Obviously, his personal safety is a concern."

McGrath resigned after only 11 weeks as Hogan's chief of staff in 2020 after the payments were made public and was charged with federal wire fraud. He was accused by the prosecution of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the state.

The state also claimed that McGrath lied about his work hours while employed and took numerous trips on the government's pay.

He was charged with forging time sheets while on vacation in Europe and stealing cash to pay for Harvard class tuition.

The 2021 indictment against McGrath claims the former Hogan employee used money intended for the state of Maryland on his own 'personal expenses' while on those outings.