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Ex-staffer to former Maryland governor dead after FBI encounter

(NewsNation) — Roy McGrath, former chief of staff to then-Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is dead after a manhunt led to a confrontation with the FBI.

McGrath became a fugitive after failing to appear at trial on wire fraud and embezzlement charges.

McGrath, 53, was wounded during “an agent-involved shooting” around 6:30 p.m. in a commercial area on the southwestern outskirts of Knoxville, Tennessee, Monday, according to an earlier email from FBI Supervisory Special Agent Shayne Buchwald in Maryland. Buchwald said McGrath was taken to a hospital but did not elaborate.

Joseph Murtha, McGrath’s attorney, said the FBI confirmed with him his client’s death, but it was not immediately clear whether the wound that killed him was self-inflicted or if it came during an exchange of gunfire with agents.

Murtha called the death “a tragic ending to the past three weeks of uncertainty,” and said his client always maintained his innocence.

McGrath was declared a wanted fugitive after his disappearance, and the FBI said he was considered an international flight risk.

McGrath was indicted in 2021 on accusations that 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 pleaded not guilty.

If convicted of the federal charges, he would have faced a maximum sentence of 20 years for each of four counts of wire fraud, plus a maximum of 10 years for each of two counts of embezzlement.

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.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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