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Former Maryland Aide Roy McGrath Killed in Manhunt After Missing Trial in Baltimore

After a manhunt and missing his first trial, a former aide Roy McGrath was killed.

Former Maryland Aide Roy McGrath Killed in Manhunt After Missing Trial in Baltimore

In 2021, McGrath was jailed for misrepresenting to the Maryland Environmental Service’s board to get a one-year severance payment. Hogan denied knowing the plot. (Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Sun via AP, File)

Roy McGrath Skipped Trial and Died

A newly released FBI document says that a former top Maryland official who skipped his trial on corruption charges and died last month as a fugitive in a gunfight with federal agents after a three-week manhunt had no plans to go to Baltimore for his trial. This is what the former official told the FBI. Roy McGrath, who used to be the chief of staff for former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, didn’t show up for the first day of his trial in federal court on March 13.

This started a manhunt that finished on April 3, when McGrath was shot and hurt near Knoxville, Tennessee. He died at the hospital and the police haven’t said how Roy McGrath was hurt or what happened before the shooting. Roy McGrath’s lawyer, Joseph Murtha, was surprised that McGrath didn’t show up for his trial. At the time, Murtha thought that Roy McGrath, who had moved to Naples, Florida, was going to fly to Maryland the night before the trial.

Murtha said that McGrath had always said he was innocent and was keen about going to court to clear his name. But an affidavit from an FBI agent asking for permission to search McGrath’s home said that in the days before his trial, McGrath didn’t have any plane tickets or trip plans. The agent was not named in the statement, which was made public on Tuesday.

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McGrath Served as Hogan’s Chief of Staff for Just 11 weeks

McGrath had last talked to the police two weeks before, and the last time police went to his Florida home was in August. The statement says that McGrath’s wife told the officer that she thought her husband would fly to Baltimore the morning of the trial. Court document says, “Checks with airlines providing service between Florida and Baltimore, MD did not reveal any plane ticket or reservation for McGrath’s travel to Maryland.”

Investigators wanted to take McGrath’s electronics, records about his travel plans, financial records, and any proof that he tried to change his look, according to the warrant request. McGrath only spent 11 weeks as Hogan’s chief of staff. After it became public that he received a $233,650 severance payment from an old job as head of a state-owned company, he quit in August 2020 before moving to the governor’s office.

McGrath was charged with fraud in 2021, when he was arrested on charges that he got a severance payment that’s equal to one year’s salary as head of the Maryland Environmental Service by lying to the agency’s board and saying that the governor had given his approval. Hogan said he didn’t know about the plan. McGrath was also accused of fraud and theft involving about $170,000 worth of costs.

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