Ex-Maryland political aide dead after manhunt, lawyer says : NPR
BALTIMORE — A former Maryland political aide wanted on corruption charges died Monday after being wounded while being confronted by law enforcement agents, his lawyer said, following a manhunt that began when the man failed to appear for the trial.
Lawyer Joseph Murtha said that the FBI confirmed the death of Roy McGrath. He added that it was not immediately clear whether McGrath’s wound was self-inflicted or came during an exchange of gunfire with agents.
The FBI had said earlier that McGrath, once a top aide to a former Maryland governor, had been hospitalized after an agent-involved shooting, but declined to elaborate.
William Brennan, lawyer for McGrath’s wife, Laura Bruner, also confirmed the death and said she was “absolutely distraught”.
According to an earlier email from FBI Supervisory Special Agent Shayne Buchwald in Maryland, McGrath was wounded during an “agent-involved shooting” around 6:30 pm in a commercial area on the southwest outskirts of Knoxville. , Tennessee. Buchwald said McGrath was taken to the hospital.
Further details, including how McGrath was injured and what led up to it, were not immediately released. The shooting was under investigation.
“The FBI takes seriously all shooting incidents involving our agents or members of the task force,” said Buchwald, who declined to confirm that McGrath had died.
McGrath, 53, served as chief of staff to former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. He was declared a wanted fugitive after his disappearance, and the FBI said he was considered an international flight risk.
In a statement, Hogan said he and his wife, Yumi, “are deeply saddened by this tragic situation. We are praying for Mr. McGrath’s family and loved ones.”
Murtha called the death a “tragic end to the last three weeks of uncertainty” and said his client always maintained his innocence.
After McGrath failed to appear in federal court in Baltimore on March 13, Murtha said he believed McGrath, who had moved to Naples, Florida, was planning to fly to Maryland the night before. Instead of starting jury selection, a judge issued an arrest warrant and dismissed prospective jurors.
McGrath was indicted in 2021 on charges that he fraudulently obtained a $233,648 severance payment, equal to one year’s salary as the head of the Maryland Environmental Service, by falsely telling the board of -an agency that the governor had approved. He was also charged with fraud and embezzlement in connection with approximately $170,000 in expenses. McGrath pleaded not guilty.
McGrath resigned just 11 weeks into the job as Hogan’s chief of staff in 2020 after the payments became public.
If convicted of the federal charges, he would have faced a maximum sentence of 20 years on each of four counts of wire fraud, plus a maximum of 10 years on each of the two counts of placing funds from an organization that receives more than $10,000 in federal benefits. .