The manhunt for Roy McGrath, a chief of staff to former Maryland governor Larry Hogan, culminated in his shooting death. Roy’s attorney said he didn’t know ‘whether Roy died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot or an exchange of gunfire with the F.B.I.’ Roy’s failure to appear in federal court in Baltimore for trial on charges including wire fraud sparked the manhunt. 

Roy’s wife, Laura Bruner, reportedly married Roy to avoid testifying against him

The details about Roy McGrath and Laura Bruner’s relationship are unclear. However, we know that the pair wed after his indictment, possibly to prevent Laura from testifying against Roy during his trial. 

The union opened up the likelihood that Bruner would claim spousal privilege to avoid incriminating her husband. Prosecutors filed a motion asking the court to allow the inclusion of texts from Laura detailing the couple’s activities during two holidays in 2019. 

“L.B. has no motive to lie, and her statements are remarkably candid,” prosecutors wrote. “Moreover, the photographs which are taken by both L.B. and the Defendant corroborate the recitation of the day’s events in the text messages. For example, L.B. both describes a painting class, and their cell phones contain photographs of the two paintings that the Defendant and L.B. made.”

Following Roy’s death, Bruner released a statement through her attorney, William Brennan, saying she was ‘absolutely distraught’. Bruner also asked for privacy.

Bruner denied publishing a book about Roy McGrath’s crimes

A book titled Betrayed: The True Story of Roy McGrath appeared on Amazon as authorities began searching for Roy. As Roy’s disappearance continued, the book’s popularity grew. The author used the pseudonym Ryan C. Cooper to publish the book. 

Bruner, via her attorney William Brennan, denied knowing Ryan C. Cooper. However, Cooper told The Baltimore Sun that Bruner knew of his and Roy’s collaboration. “His wife knew we were working on this book,” Cooper said. 

Cooper declined to give information that could lead to his identification. He refused to provide his exact age or specify what he did for a living. Cooper said he moved from Hagerstown to Florida, but an investigation by The Baltimore Sun found no public record of a ‘Ryan C. Cooper’ who made such a move. 

Attention shifted to Bruner, who denied writing the book or knowing that Roy was writing a book. However, metadata recovered by The Baltimore Sun listed L.B. (Laura Bruner) as the author. “She can’t rule out L.B. is her,” Brennan said.