Motion To Deny Polygraph Test Results In White Marlin Open Case - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Motion To Deny Polygraph Test Results In White Marlin Open Case Denied

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A federal court judge Friday essentially decided that polygraph test results following the White Marlin Open fishing tournament can be used in the ongoing legal case.

Back in August, Phil Heasley, from Florida, caught a 76.5 pound white marlin, making him the winner of $2.8 million dollars in prize money.

Tournament officials, though, said Heasley and his crew failed the post-tournament lie detector tests regarding tournament rules, which disqualified him as the winner. It also meant Heasley would not receive the prize money. Instead, the money would be divvied up among thirteen other anglers.

White Marlin Open officials filed a Complaint for Interpleader, essentially asking a judge to decide if in fact tournament rules were broken, and if so, how the prize much should be dispersed.  Heasley filed a motion asking The polygraph results be thrown out, arguing that since White Marlin Open officials asked a court to determine if Heasley was eligible for the prize money, White Marlin Open abandoned the process for determining a winner based on its rules, thus invalidating the use of the polygraph results. Judge Richard D. Bennett denied that motion Friday.
 

Christopher P. Sullivan, Heasley's attorney, released a statement Friday saying, "Philip Heasley and his crew followed the rules of the tournament to the letter.  They even contacted tournament staff during the tournament to ensure their actions would not violate tournament procedures.  As he stated in his affidavit, Heasley and his crew also fully cooperated with the tournament officials’ questioning as part of the investigation following their first prize finish.  When they learned of the tournament’s concerns, they reasonably expected to have the opportunity to defend themselves.  Instead, the tournament never allowed them this opportunity and instead filed a lawsuit against Mr. Heasley.  Heasley and his crew will show through boat records, eyewitness accounts and other strong evidence that the tournament’s allegations are false and that he is the rightful winner of the White Marlin Open.” 

Judge Bennett also decided the case will stay in federal court in Baltimore, as opposed to returning to Worcester County.
Attorneys in the case now have ten days to tell the judge when they will be ready for trial. a trial date will be then presumably be set.

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