|Publication:The Dominion Post;||Date:Dec 29, 2010;||Section:Local;||Page Number:5-B|
Diviney attacker to appeal
Austin Isaac Vantrease seeks new trial
BY BRANDY BRUBAKER The Dominion Post
One of the men convicted of the attack on then-WVU sophomore Ryan Diviney plans to appeal.
Austin Isaac Vantrease filed a notice of intent to appeal in Monongalia County Circuit Court recently.
Vantrease filed the motion pro se (without a lawyer), but has since received a court-appointed attorney, court officials said Tuesday. That attorney, Lance Rollo, will replace Vantrease’s previously hired attorney, Jim Zimarowski. Rollo said that he was newly appointed and didn’t have a comment at this time.
Vantrease,19,of Newark,Del.,was convicted of malicious assault for kicking Diviney in the head near the Willey Street Dairy Mart on Nov. 7, 2009. Judge Russell Clawges sentenced him to two to 10 years in prison — the maximum sentence allowed by law — last month. Vantrease is now serving that sentence at North Central Regional Jail.
His co-defendant, Jonathon May, 19, also of Newark, was convicted of misdemeanor battery and is serving a one-year jail sentence.
Prosecutors said May punched Diviney in the head after an argument about the World Series. Diviney fell to the ground and struck his head and was then kicked in the head by Vantrease, prosecutors said. Either injury or both injuries could have caused the traumatic brain damage Diviney suffered, a doctor testified.
Diviney, 21, remains in a vegetative state and is currently being cared for at a Virginia hospital where he was admitted last week for pneumonia, according to his family.
May’s attorney, Ray Yackel, said May isn’t planning an appeal or a request for a shorter sentence.
“He feels the sentence he received from Judge Clawges is fair and he feels he needs to serve his time,” Yackel said.