Roy McGrath, a former top Maryland political aide wanted on corruption charges died Monday after he was wounded while being confronted by law enforcement agents near Knoxville, Tn., his lawyer said. A manhunt was launched when the man failed to appear for trial. McGrath was wounded during “an agent-involved shooting” around 6:30 p.m. in a commercial area, the FBI said. Defense attorney Joseph Murtha said it was not immediately clear if McGrath’s wound was self-inflicted or came during an exchange of gunfire with agents, according to the Associated Press. Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he and his wife, Yumi, “are deeply saddened by this tragic situation.” McGrath, 53, served as Hogan's chief of staff. He was declared a wanted fugitive after his disappearance, and the FBI has said he was considered an international flight risk.
After McGrath failed to appear at Baltimore’s federal courthouse on March 13, Murtha said he believed McGrath, who had moved to Florida, was planning to fly to Maryland the night before. Instead of beginning jury selection, a judge issued an arrest warrant and dismissed prospective jurors. McGrath was indicted in 2021 on accusations he fraudulently secured a $233,648 severance payment, equal to one year of salary as the head of Maryland Environmental Service, by falsely telling the agency’s board the governor had approved it. He was also accused of fraud and embezzlement connected to roughly $170,000 in expenses. McGrath resigned just 11 weeks into the job as Hogan’s chief of staff in 2020 after the payments became public.