According to an FBI affidavit recently released, a former Maryland top official who skipped his corruption trial and died as a fugitive last month in an armed encounter after a 3-week manhunt did not plan to travel to Baltimore for his trial.
Roy McGrath was a former chief of staff to the Maryland Governor. Larry Hogan missed the first trial day in federal court in March, causing a manhunt. McGrath was shot in a shootout near Knoxville in Tennessee on April 3. He died in a hospital. The authorities have not released any details about how McGrath’s injuries were caused or what led to the shooting.
Joseph Murtha was surprised by McGrath’s absence from the trial. He said that at the time, he thought McGrath had planned to fly the night before to Maryland, after moving to Naples, Florida. Murtha stated that McGrath had long maintained his innocence, and was determined to go to trial so he could clear his name.
News outlets reported that an affidavit of an FBI Agent requesting a search for McGrath’s home revealed McGrath had no plane tickets nor travel reservations the days leading up to his trial. The affidavit was unveiled Tuesday. It did not identify the agent.
McGrath’s wife said she thought her husband would be flying to Baltimore the morning of the trial, according to an affidavit. McGrath’s wife told the court that she believed her husband would fly to Baltimore on the morning of trial.
According to court documents, “Checks with airline providing service from Florida to Baltimore, MD revealed no plane tickets or reservations for McGrath’s travel to Maryland”, according to court documentation.
The warrant request indicated that investigators wanted McGrath’s electronic devices and records relating to his travel arrangements and financial records, as well as any evidence that McGrath had tried to alter his look.
McGrath was Hogan’s chief-of-staff for only 11 weeks. He resigned on August 2020, after it was revealed that he received a $233.650 severance from his previous job as the head of a State-owned Corporation before moving to Governor’s Office.
McGrath, the former head of Maryland Environmental Service was indicted on charges that, in falsely informing the agency’s board, the governor approved the payment. Hogan denied knowing about the plan.
McGrath was also accused of fraud and embezzlement in connection with approximately $170,000 worth of expenses.