Updated: Polygraph Tests at Heart of White Marlin Open Trial - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Updated: Polygraph Tests at Heart of White Marlin Open Trial

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Wednesday afternoon's White Marlin Open trial in Baltimore. (Courtroom sketch by Bill Hennessy) Wednesday afternoon's White Marlin Open trial in Baltimore. (Courtroom sketch by Bill Hennessy)

BALTIMORE- Thursday marked day four of the White Marlin Open trial in Baltimore, in which a federal judge has to figure out who will get the millions of dollars in prize money from last year's tournament held in Ocean City.

The last two days of testimony focused on the polygraph tests that were administered to the winner of last year's tournament, Phil Heasley, of Naples, Fla

During Thursday's proceedings, the attorneys for the White Marlin Open called an expert witness from California to validate the legitimacy of the polygraph tests. But on cross-examination, Heasley's lawyers tried to chip away at that legitimacy. 

This all stems from last August's tournament, when Heasely was crowned the winner after catching the event's biggest white marlin, weighing in at 76.5 pounds. However, Heasley and his boat mates failed to pass the tests and were disqualified.

In Wednesday's court action, Heasely's attorneys tried to discredit those tests. They pointed out the man who administered the tests, Dave Sandman, made a mistake on one of the questions he asked two of Hensley's boatmates.  Saneman admitted the error requiring a question about what time the boat had passed a buoy on their way out to fish for the white marlin. The judge responded by asking if the same mistake was made regarding Heasley's questions and the answer was "no."

The judge's response could prove pivotal since Heasley stands to collect the $2.8 million prize money if he prevails. If Heasley loses, the money could be divided up by more than a dozen other fishermen. 

Heasley and his fishing crew continue to maintain they did nothing wrong. In a statement, Heasley said, "The Kallianassa's excellent crew and superb captain have always maintained the highest levels of integrity. They will be vindicated and walking tall in the fishing community."

The trial will resume Tuesday, when Heasley starts to make his case. 

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