May 12, 2023
The two walleye anglers who plead guilty to cheating in a tournament last year will spend 10 days in jail, an Ohio judge ruled Thursday.
According to multiple media outlets in northeast Ohio, Jacob Runyan, 43, of Ashtabula, Ohio, and Chase Cominsky, 36, of Hermitage, Pa., were sentenced by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Steven Gall to 10 days in prison followed by 18 months of probation for the felony cheating charge. If they violate probation, they could face a year in prison.
Runyan and Cominsky were indicted last October on felony charges of cheating, attempted grand theft and possessing criminal tools and a misdemeanor count of illegal animal ownership stemming from being caught using weights to make their tournament catch appear heavier in a Lake Erie Walleye Trail event.
In March, they each pleaded guilty to the cheating and misdemeanor animal ownership charges. The remaining charges were dismissed.
Both men were also ordered to pay a $2,500 fine, half of which can be suspended if they make a donation to an charitable organization focused on fishing and children. In addition, the boat Runyan and Cominsky used during the tournament last October (estimated value: $130,000) was forfeited to the Ohio Division of Wildlife and their fishing licenses have been suspended for three years, the longest suspension possible.
“I just wanna apologize to everyone,” Cominsky said during the sentencing hearing, according to FOX 8. “It’s a bad situation and it’s something I wish I could say it didn’t happen.”
According to Runyan, it was “the most ignorant decision I’ve ever made in my life.”