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Roy McGrath killed during encounter with FBI in Tennessee after three-week manhunt

Roy McGrath killed during encounter with FBI in Tennessee after three-week manhunt
Roy McGrath killed during encounter with FBI in Tennessee after three-week manhunt 01:35

BALTIMORE -- A weeks-long manhunt for fugitive Roy McGrath ended Monday evening with the former Maryland official shot dead in an encounter with law enforcement agents in Tennessee, according to McGrath's lawyer. 

"The FBI has confirmed Roy's passing," attorney Joseph Murtha said. "It is a tragic ending to the past three weeks of uncertainty. I think it is important to stress that Roy never wavered about his innocence."

McGrath, ex-chief of staff to former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, was found near Knoxville, according to the FBI.

The FBI said they are reviewing an "agent-involved shooting" around 6:30 p.m. involving McGrath, who was taken to the hospital with injuries. Our media partner The Baltimore Banner reports McGrath died at the hospital.

Roy McGrath

"The FBI takes all shooting incidents involving our agents or task force members seriously," the FBI said in a statement. "In accordance with FBI policy, the shooting incident is under investigation by the FBI's Inspection Division."    

It is unknown how authorities located McGrath.

William Brennan, an attorney for McGrath's wife, Laura Bruner, also confirmed the death to the Associated Press and said she was "absolutely distraught."

Considered to be a fugitive by the U.S. Marshals after failing to show up to his federal fraud trial in Baltimore, McGrath has been on the run since March 13.

The U.S. Marshals Service and FBI combined to offer a $20,000 reward for information that led to McGrath's arrest.

McGrath was set to be tried on federal charges stemming from his time running the Maryland Environmental Service, a quasi-governmental state agency that provides services like wastewater management, composting and recycling. 

Prosecutors said McGrath fraudulently obtained a severance payment of $233,647 when he left to take the job as Hogan's chief of staff in 2020, and falsified a document purporting to show the governor had approved of the payment. 

He was also accused of falsifying time sheets while vacationing in Europe and stealing money for tuition for classes at Harvard.  

McGrath was indicted in October 2021, and faces a maximum of 100 years in federal prison for charges that he illegally recorded former Gov. Hogan and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from state government.  

He was wanted on charges of failure to appear, fraud, theft of funds and falsifying records.

As the nationwide search for McGrath continued, a tell-all book was published 10 days after his disappearance, and a second book about his time at the Maryland Environmental Service was released last week.

Little could be confirmed about the author Ryan Cooper, but it is known McGrath told multiple people he was working on a manuscript.

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."

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