Cleveland Walleye Fishing Cheaters Scandal

The hunting and fishing world went viral when two tournament fishermen in Cleveland, Ohio were caught “loading” fish or adding artificial weight to fish in an attempt to win a fishing tournament and a team season title. These individuals have been charged in Court with crimes for these alleged activities — so what is happening now with them and the Court case?

Tournament Fishing team Chase Cominsky and Jacob Runyan became infamous after a video hit the internet of walleye fish they entered into a tournament scale to be weighed were opened in front of everyone and lead weights and fish filets from other fish were stuffed into the fish to be weighed for the tournament. 

In October 2022, the two were individually charged in the Cuyahoga County criminal court with the following criminal charges:

  • Cheating
  • Attempted Grand Theft
  • Possessing Criminal Tools
  • Prohibited activities with animals. 

Court update 

These are serious charges that can lead to serious jail and fine penalties. The criminal charges were lodged against both Jacob Runyan and Chase Cominsky individually as co-defendants.  These charges were brought and filed on October 11, 2022. The latest Court information for these cases is this:

Both defendants have pleaded not guilty to all charges. A trial is scheduled to be held for both of the accused on March 27, 2023. The last court date as of the time of this article was held on February 22, 2023, which was a pretrial hearing where presumably the trial date was confirmed. 

Between now and the trial date both the defendants and the prosecutor(s) will be negotiating the criminal case with the potential of reaching a plea agreement. If a plea agreement is reached, then there will be no trial and the defendants will plead guilty to likely some, but not all of the charges. No official plea agreement has been reached according to court documents as of this date. 

Plea agreements will be individual to each defendant, meaning that one of the accused may take a plea agreement but the other does not necessarily have to do the same. One or both of the defendants could go to trial on the charges, or they could both accept plea agreements. 

With the trial date looming in the near future, one of three things will happen:

  1. There will be a plea agreement reached
  2. There will be a continuance of the trial date to a later date
  3. There will be a trial on March 27 for one or both of the defendants

We will be posting updates as they become available.