McGrath had been on the run for 21 days after he failed to show up for a trial March 13 on fraud and embezzlement charges in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.
A lawyer for his family said McGrath died after federal agents attempted to arrest him Monday evening. It’s unclear if he died of a self-inflicted wound or during an exchange of gunfire with federal agents.
“The loss of Roy’s life is an absolute tragedy, and I think it’s important for me to say that Roy never wavered about his innocence,” Joseph Murtha, an attorney for McGrath’s wife, told The Washington Post.
The FBI said earlier Monday that McGrath was injured during an “agent-involved shooting” near Knoxville, Tennessee. He was taken to a hospital but died of his wounds.
Authorities have not yet detailed the events leading up to the confrontation.
McGrath was indicted in 2021 on a series of fraud charges. In one instance, prosecutors accused McGrath of defrauding the Maryland Environmental Service of a more than $233,000 severance package before he left to work for Hogan.
He had served as the governor’s chief of staff for only three months when The Baltimore Sun reported on the severance package, revelations that prompted legislative hearings and McGrath’s ultimate resignation. McGrath maintained the governor approved of the severance deal, but Hogan denied any knowledge of it and has been cooperating with investigators. The former governor was on the prosecution’s witness list for the trial.
Hogan issued a statement through his spokesperson on Monday, saying he was “deeply saddened by this tragic situation.”
“We are praying for Mr. McGrath’s family and loved ones,” the former governor said.
If convicted, McGrath would have faced decades in prison.