Men Plead Guilty in Erie Walleye Tournament Scandal

Last fall the tournament fishing world was set ablaze by the scandalous activity of a couple of walleye tournament anglers cheating to win a tournament on Sept. 30, 2022 by adding lead to their fish. Last fall the two men, Jacob Runyan and Chase Cominsky pleaded not guilty in their first court date. However on Monday, March 27, 2023 just moments before their trial in Cuyahoga County Court was set to start, the pair changed their tune and admitted to the charges of cheating, a fifth-degree felony, and unlawful ownership of wild animals, a fourth-degree misdemeanor.

As part of the deal with prosecutors, the charges of grand theft and possessing criminal tools were both dismissed. Their sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 11, 2023.

Runyan and Cominsky could have faced up to a year in prison, but prosecutors agreed to instead recommend 6 months probation. As an additional part of the plea deal, the two men also are unable to obtain fishing licenses for 3 years and Cominsky’s boat that was confiscated after the initial charges were filed, was forfeited by the pair of men.

Cominsky has also be charged in two separate incidents since being charged for the cheating scandal. One for stalking his ex-wife and the other for providing his 18-year-old son with counterfeit money. So his bond for the counterfeit bills was set at $12,000, and his hearing for the stalking case happens in May in Jefferson Township.

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