Austin Vantrease Siblings Speak Out

Those Vantrease family members are at it again. This time it’s the siblings spreading their propaganda. I would like to thank those who brought this information to my attention and provided information.

Austin Vantrease sister's Tweet.

Austin Vantrease sister’s Tweet.

Andraya (“Andy”) Vantrease has taken to Twitter to spread her “truth” about her felon brother, Austin Vantrease (of Newark, Delaware). She seems to believe he was wrongfully convicted! Well, at least that’s what she wants people to think.

Remember, Austin Vantrease is convicted by a jury. He is sentenced to serve 2 – 10 years in prison for his violent crime and is now incarcerated in the Huttonsville Correction Center that houses some of their worst criminals the State of West Virginia has to offer.

Wrongful conviction, my ass!

Just a bit more digging reveals a reason why Andy is doing this. Let me share her words:

“Please continue to help my family and I bring Austin Vantrease home so he can be at the next trip to the U.S. National Whitewater Center! ”  [Source: Facebook, 06/23/2013]

Seriously? She wants him free so he can vacation? Ugh!

Oh, here’s another from her, painting a violent kick to the head of an unresponsive person as “a complete accident”:

“Austin is an amazing kid and he has been incarcerated in West Virginia for three years over an incident that was a complete accident. Many people made bad decisions that night, and he has sufficiently paid for his.” [Source: Facebook, 06/20/2013]

Then there’s the brother, Cody Vantrease, making his plea:

For all those who know what my family has been going through the past three years, and even for those who dont, please visit this website to help Austin Vantrease, my younger brother, and our family. Although this is very personal, please, PLEASE share, so the TRUTH can finally be told. [Source: Facebook, 06/19/2013]

Could this family be any more selfish? Any more insensitive? Any more enabling? Actually, I say they are. If you don’t believe me then I’ll just end with this statement posted by Bob Vantrease, Austin’s father:

“Austin truly was the scapegoat in this terrible tragedy.” [Source: Facebook, 06/24/2013].

[button color=”#COLOR_CODE” background=”#COLOR_CODE” size=”large” src=””]Sign Petition: Deny Vantrease Parole[/button]
The Vantrease Family at the criminal trial.

The Vantrease Family at the criminal trial.

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  1. Marie Long says

    He has shown no remorse and no guilt. . . Technically those are something he needs to be considered rehabilitated, right?

  2. Debbie says

    This family continues to show their true ignorance and lack of sensitivity. It is nearly impossible to comprehend how these statements can be made with a clear conscious; oh wait….. They do not have a conscious! I will continue to pray for these poor souls.

  3. Sara says

    I just read where the family has said that the POS is working and sending every dime he makes to your family. Has he finally gotten a job, or is it more of their BS?

  4. Gloria says

    TO THE VANTREASE CLAN. How do you paint this attack as a accident? How can your “little brother” ever become a man and be accountable for his actions if your family continues to perpetuate that he was wrongfully convicted? He & Jon May have taken Ryan’s future & life as he knew it. Ryan’s future is fighting to survive on a daily basis. This was not a horrible accident, this was a brutal attack that left a young man in a coma, fighting for his life.

  5. Ann H Tearle says

    Gloria–right on. Words fail me regarding this trash talk by this convict’s sibs. Makes me sick to read their pleas. vantrease, try as he might to avoid this, WILL carry the smell of what he did to Ryan with him for the rest of his life…..

  6. Paula says

    The self serving, narcissistic behavior of the VanTrease family continues. This self centeredness is precisely why they cannot see the inappropriate nature of their behavior.

    Team Diviney needs to band together for our boy, Ryan, and get as many signatures on the Deny Parole for Austin VanTrease petition as possible.

    We also need to be willing to speak the truth about what Austin and Jon did to Ryan. I imagine it must get emotionally exhausting not to mention very frustrating for the Divineys to have to continually be on the alert for what the VanTrease’s are putting out there.

    Andraya is telling the world that Austin needs to be released from prison so he can make it to the Whitewater Center?

    How about when Austin gets out he gets a job so he can finally start paying the court ordered restitution to the Diviney family.

    The insensitivity and callousness of the VanTrease family continues to astound, but alas no longer surprises me. They have never understood and accepted that Ryan and his family are the victims in this situation.

    This presents yet another reason why it is imperative that Austin stay behind bars. To allow Austin to be released into a family system that fails to recognize the difference between right and wrong is to quite possibly set the stage for yet another innocent person to be harmed.

    The likelihood that Austin has changed is most likely slim to none. Based on the falsehoods his family continues to spread about the case, combined with the family’s complete lack of tangible concern for Ryan, I think it is best for the public good that Austin continue to remain in prison.

  7. Charlotte says

    The Vantrease Family’s new campaign is absolutely disgusting. I found their website via a link from an article on the WVFX Clarksburg website.

  8. says

    I looked at their website too. Absolutely unbelievable! They pin the “accident’ on everyone but Austin and Jonathan May. Seriously? And under the Accountability tab, in bold letters, it states, “Austin has a job in prison and sends the Diviney’s his earnings every month. He has completed his required victim awareness classes and has sincerely apologized to the Diviney family on numerous occasions, as can be seen in the transcripts. ” What idiots.

  9. Kate says

    Hi Mr. Diviney. I feel compelled to respond to this post. First of all, I am so, so sorry for all you’re going through. I just can’t imagine how you feel and think but for the grace of God, there go I. I know the Vantreases well and all I can tell you is that how they really feel is not coming across well at all. I know for sure that they feel your pain, they empathize with your family, they know that the shoe could easily be on the other foot. I feel like they just haven’t said the right words for you to understand who they really are as people and as a family. They are not awful, they are not crazy, they just are not bad people. So much has transpired and I know the window of opportunity for them to really talk, explain and to heal with you seems closed. For people who know the situation (like I think I do)it has seemed as though there was little possibility for them to have a genuine conversation. I know Andy and Cody well and they are not monsters, either. Whenever anyone from Delaware writes something on here, we take the risk of offending you-and I don’t mean to. I believe that whenever the situation is referred to as an accident they simply mean that the outcome was an accident. We know the actions were not accidental, but I don’t believe anyone could have foreseen the outcome. They don’t feel he was wrongfully convicted, they take responsibility every time I speak to them. Truly. I hope that some day there can be healing between your two families. What I see from my limited point of view is two families who love their boys unconditionally. It’s love for their son that drives everything they do just as your love for your son is all-encompassing. I pray for forgiveness and healing. God Bless.
    And again, I apologize in advance to everyone reading this if my words have offended. I am trying so hard not to make it worse. Thanks for your time.

    • Rita says

      But Andy does say her brother was wrongfully convicted. If the family knows that Austin is responsible for his actions that night (even if he didn’t intend for there to be deadly consequences), then they shouldn’t be complaining about him having to serve his full sentence or pay the court-ordered restitution. Just do the right thing by the Divineys if you want there to be any sort of “peace” between the families. It’s that simple.

    • Jessica says

      Andy said that her brother was “wrongfully convicted”. If she doesn’t think that he was wrongfully convicted then why on Earth did she use those 2 words? Also, what kind of outcome does one think kicking an unconscious person in the head repeatedly will have? And why are the Vantreases lying about Austin having a prison job and sending all the money to Ryan?

    • jo says

      You’re kidding, right? These people have never sent Ryan as much as a Q-Tip, so puuleeze! You are blinded by their evil BS! Ryan’s Rally has been here since day one. Where was this great family you speak of?

    • Paula says

      Kate, you said the VanTreases “know the shoe could easily be on the other foot” — that would only be if a violent, aggressive individual attacked Austin while he was unconscious on the ground, and used their foot to inflict permanent brain damage.

      Sadly, Kate, the VanTreases actions and behavior resemble nothing fitting your personal experience with them. Therefore, while your personal opinion is that they are above board, compassionate people, there are many who, based upon the insensitive behavior of the VanTrease family, disagree with you.

      Austin retains the ability to walk, talk, work, laugh, have a future. What kind of future did Austin create for Ryan, Kate? How do you think you would feel if this was your son who was maimed and disabled for life? Do not speak about that which you do not know.

    • jena says

      Sorry Kate but I agree with others the Van Treases have
      There son !! They have nothing to complain about they want people to feel sorry for them why Kate there son is pathetic for kicking Ryan in the head!! Ryan was not even conscious or fighting back sounds like a beast to me a d they should be ashamed of there awful off spring!!How can you say that a sorry can fix things really Kate that’s ridiculous if someone put one of your family members in a permanent coma would u except sorry n be there buddy I think not!!! The Van Treases need to tell themself s there sorry because they raised a horrid son!! He took Ryan’s life away and got a pat on the back while Ryan’s family suffers . The punishment didn’t fit the crime!! Our justice system is pathetic!!

  10. Laura says

    brother Austin Vantrease doesnt deserve freedom. He deserves to lose his life in jail like Ryan Diviney lost his ‘concious’ life on the street. and this family is the prime example of the american idiot for thinking that he should be free.. boo hoo your brother is in jail, atleast you can visit him, Kari and her family cannot hardly hold a conversation with ryan because of his lack of response due to the actions of Austin Vantrease. Grow up Vantrease family and let your son take responsibility for his actions.

  11. says

    Kate, finally someone with some common sense!!! It is easy for those who don’t like to think for themselves to drown in good v. evil, black v. white, all or nothing comparisons. Ryan is completely good and everyone else is completely evil. EVERYONE involved in this tragedy has some culpability, although the Divineys go to great lengths to hide every bit of their son’s. No person or people should have to endure what the Divineys have, but EVERYONE was wrong, EVERYONE was effected. I know not nearly as much as Ryan, and everyone certainly knows that. Typing it over and over again every day does not change it. I would be right there with you had this actually been a savage, brutal beating done by a bunch of ruthless thugs or gangsters only looking to hurt people. That is not the case. The vitriol here is narcissistic and disgusting, and to me is not excused by tragedy. Even if done for seemingly good reasons, lying is still bad. Austin’s parents did nothing, Austin’s siblings did nothing. None of you know them and they don’t know you. Only difference: they are not online talking about you and what pieces of excrement all of you are. YOU have attacked them via this website. They are supporting their son, you are supporting yours. No matter the difficult spot, they are only doing the only thing they can do. I don’t give a damn what any of you say behind the guise of a keyboard, you would do EXACTLY the same thing. Anyone that says otherwise either does not know the facts or is a liar.

    • Shaun says

      Jim you sir clearly have you head up your ass… although I do agree both families have lost and both hurt. It was not self defense so it dose not matter the reason 2 boys made a choice they need to live with that choice and the outcome there after. I feel those 2 boys should be in prison until Ryan is back to a normal state.

      • says

        I think the definition of “head up one’s ass” is believing everything that comes from the mouth of a single, biased man as if were universal fact. The last time I checked all were already living with the choices they made. I’m sure if you were in jail you would forgo all options at parole and just stay in there until Ryan was better. If your son was in jail you would cut off all support to him and tell him to rot in there until Ryan was better. That this was completely, 100% his fault. That not one other person was responsible. That may be the definition of “head up an ass” you were looking for earlier.

    • Paula says

      Jim, please go back to the “Choose Progress” where you belong. Your anger and resentment far exceed anything on this board. In fact, the kind of aggression you are displaying resembles Austin’s, which is very disturbing. You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but — the only people here that agree with you are your “Choose Progress” compatriots.

      ” I don’t give a damn what any of you say behind the guise of a keyboard, you would do EXACTLY the same thing. Anyone that says otherwise either does not know the facts or is a liar.”

      Wow, Jim — do you really believe you have the personal ability to know what other people would do in any given situation? If that’s so, what would you do if your son sat in a wheelchair every day because of horrific violence inflicted on him by a stranger? What if you knew he would never have the future he should have had? Can you really walk in Ken’s shoes?

    • Sara says

      Jim …. I don’t think that Vantrease went out that night searching for the perfect person to kick in the head … Make them bleed in the ears … And then imagined that he would leave while the guy was on the ground seizing … But guess what … That’s what happened .. ! Regardless … He made those choices. So why in the world is it so hard for his family to grasp the concept that he should serve his time. I do speak from experience and I saw my mother in law love her son while he was in jail … For an ACCIDENT … The other man was drinking and driving as well … But he died due to my family member drinking and driving also. Accident report could not prove either way … But fact of the matter … The other guy got the short end of the stick. But we never ever ever would have insulted the other family as to beg for him to get out of jail earlier … for vacation!!! I am sure they will love their son …. But wouldn’t you think he would want to be somewhat punished for such an outcome? Does the family not realize that years later … His time in prison will be a distant memory … But the Diviney family will be living that moment every single day.. .

  12. Linda says

    OMG I can’t even write how furious I feel! What the heck are they crazy???? How is kicking someone in the head then hiding cowardly an accident! It makes it even worse their parents support them and call him a scapegoat! Ugh, they make me so sick! Guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  13. Alec says

    Mr. Diviney,

    I think this one-sided attack on the Vantrease’s is not the way to go about this. MANY kids made bad decisions that night, not just Austin. Austin has taken his punishment like a man. Ask yourself this, Mr. Diviney, wouldn’t you be pleading with the courts to let your son out of jail after 3 years? You’re going to tell me you would just let your son rot in jail without any support at all? Austin is a good friend of mine, and there is no doubt that Austin made a mistake and had to accept the consequences of that decision, but to continually bash a family for trying to reunite with their son is just wrong. This was a MISTAKE, not an act of evil. How dare people who do not know the fabric of one’s soul or personality to make such accusations, like referring to them as a “moron”, or “thugs.” All of this anger will not help people heal. A wound can heal with care and remedy, not with malice or mal-intent on a family who simply just wants to see their son. Austin is a good kid who made a bad decision in reaction to a number of other terrible decisions made that night. My heart breaks for your family and for Ryan, but constantly bashing the Vantrease’s for supporting their son is plain wrong and will not help anyone. Be honest with yourself, if the script was flipped you would be doing the exact same thing. You would refuse to let your son sit in jail unsupported.

    Again, my deepest condolences to you and your family, and I only wish Ryan and your family the very best. I pray to God for a recovery from Ryan. I can only hope that there are other ways to heal than this.

      • says

        Even tragedy should not make ignorance and narcissistic vitriol acceptable. Do you even know what that means?

      • Paula says

        Yes, Jim – it means the Vantreases will say and do anything to deceive the public about the horrendous crime committed by their son.

    • Chrissy says

      Kicking a man in the head who is laying on the ground is NOT a “mistake”….that is ABSOLUTELY vicious & purposeful…bottom line. AND, if they were at all respectable people, that family would be paying restitution!! It’s unbelievable…… it seriously is….

  14. anna says

    A a few comments. Alec you are right this was a mistake a criminal mistake that has consequences. those consequences were given by a judge to be up to 10 years on jail.
    The siblings plans for a whitewater vacation as their prime reason for springing Austin early is disgraceful and typical for the Vantrease family. Sending the Diviney family money really? Did they think this lie would not be found out?

  15. says

    Some seem to think this horrendous act was a “mistake or accident” YOU DO NOT, DO NOT kick a defenseless person in the head repeatedly because you had a few drinks and words were exchanged, no matter what.. and say .”oh I made a mistake” or it was accident” BS
    Let AV pay ,in more ways than one , Full sentence and restitution…..(A vacation no less)!. Will Ryan or his family ever have a vacation together again???

  16. bob says

    One sided? NOT a brutal attack? What is wrong with you? Tell me, ENLIGHTEN us all as to why ANY of this was Ryan’s fault. I keep on asking, but NO ONE can seem to answer me. JIm, you need help. If your child was unmercifully BEATEN like this, YOU would also want that person to pay also. NOT for 2 or 3 years, but for a long, long, time. Austin does NOT deserve any sympathy. Austin does NOT deserve to come home soon and go on vacation with his family. How many vacations does Ryan get to attend with his family. None. That is just wrong, and insensitive. Do the Van Treases not understand the more they down play and LIE about Ausin, the worse off this whole situation is? Do they not realize how terrible they ALL make themselves appear? And for what his family is trying to do, and to try to make this something other than what it is, is seriously defective. Are you serious? A mistake? Others make mistakes? Everyone was culpable? HOW SO? ENLIGHTEN US ALL. PLEASE. Austin is an animal. An animal brutally beats another human being when it does not need to be done. Ryan had his HANDS UP, NOT want an altercation to break out. Can’t you read? Did you even look at the court documents. Jim, educate yourself. Why is your head in the sand. Stop embarassing yourself. Please. Is 10 years even enough? How, exactly has Austin taken his punishment like a man? Ridiculous propaganda. How stupid do you all who back Austin really believe most of us to be? Again, someone enlighten all of us how ANY of this (facts only, not rambling nonsense like jims) is Ryan’s fault. Good luck with that, huh?

    • Debbie from newark says

      I read this today and thought it appropriate for all of you one sided cult followers! “The way you treat others is a deep and direct reflection of the way you feel about yourself”.
      A tragic thing(I won’t say accident) has occurred!!! Every person who has been involved, made aware or knows anything about this situation knows that and feels EVERYONE’S pain, but the bashing, naming calling and god knows what else, needs to stop! We love our families and not one of you wouldn’t do the same for your child! Jim and Alec, I applaud you for speaking up! The team diviney doesn’t have all the facts!

      • John Maletta says

        If you are going to troll Ryan’s website spewing your illogical nonsense, then at least have the guts to provide us with your full name. What’s the matter, you afraid that someone going to show up, sucker punch you and then violently kick you repeatedly in the head while you lay defenselessly in the street? Don’t worry, that’s already happened….losers.

      • Carla Liberty says

        God is spelled with a capital G.

        Diviney is spelled with a capital D.

        For that matter, Newark is spelled with a capital N.

      • bob says

        Debbie from newark–ONCE AGAIN, what are all the facts. ENLIGHTEN us. How come no supporters can enlighten any of us with these so called “facts”.

      • bob says

        Here we go again Debbie. WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? What other information? How was Ryan at fault in any of this???? Did you NOT read the court transcript? Have you not seen the videos of the VT family going after Ryan’s family?? Why are you so obtuse? I am waiting….

  17. Carla Liberty says

    I have a question for the Vantrease supporters. If they were really and truly sorry for what happened to Ryan, why aren’t they falling all over themselves to help the Divineys? Instead, Ken Diviney and his daughter have had to have police escort from the parking garage to the courtroom at hearings because they were THREATENED in the courthouse parking garage by the VANTREASES!!!!!!!! Really, I’m just curious!

    PS: If they were really and truly sorry, why aren’t they doing fundraisers to help the Diviney family while their son is in jail? How about showing some GOOD WILL! It might go a long way!

  18. John Maletta says

    I guess we’ve got Andy Vantrease to thank for cranking up Ryan’s Army right before her thug brother’s latest parole hearing. You are as foolish as you are blind to reality. I’ve read your pathetic, one-sided website account of the attack and the video evidence from the convenience store security camera of the incident totally refutes your claim as to what really happened. Ryan was backing away and was attacked by your brother’s equally sackless friend. The bottom line is that your brother ruthlessly and repeatedly kicked an an unconscious man in the head. That’s no accident. He’s a gutless, violent jackass and not simply the victim of “being at the wrong place at the wrong time” like your excuse-machine of a family would like the world to think.

    Since you and your family claim to feel so much compassion for Ryan, I’d be curious to know just how much financial support the Vantrease family has provided to Ryan’s medical care since the attack. I’m pretty sure I already know know the answer, but it would be *fun* to hear you tell us yourself. Your monster of a brother has taken a man’s life and has destroyed an entire family’s lifestyle forever. Your brother will eventually be free from prison, but Ryan and his family will never experience freedom again. Enough of your foolish chatter about “moving on” and “getting over it” and injustice, blah blah blah.

    I’ve only got one thing to say to Ms. Andy Vantrease and her family: “F.U.”

    • Janice keith says

      You are foolish and blind to reality. I’ve read your pathetic one sided web site account of the attack and the video evidence from the convenience store security camera really show repeated kicks? Seriously? The doctors didn’t know how to treat Ryan when he was brought into the hospital because he didn’t have a mark on him……….hmmmm horrific beating……… Think again.

      • John Maletta says

        Janice and Debbie. Seriously, are you on crack? I stood in Ryan’s ICU hospital room just six days after this horrible beating and Ryan was fighting for his life. He was in a coma, his head and face mangled and fractured. Ken and Sue stood helplessly with fear in their eyes. They were not sure that he’d live through the night. As a father myself, I’ll never forget the look in their eyes. It was heartbreaking. It was life changing. Janice and Debbie, the statements that you’ve made are by far the most offensive one I’ve ever read on the web blog. Your ignorance and insensitivity are beyond compare.

    • Debbie from newark says

      You are foolish as you are blind to reality. I read your pathetic, one sided web site account of the attack and the video evidence from the convenience store security camera. Repeated kicks? Seriously? The dr. Didn’t know how to treat Ryan when he was brought into the E.R. Because he didn’t have a mark on him. So much for the horrific beating………..hmmmmmmm. The truth is kinda scary when it starts to leak out, huh Ken?

      • says

        Debbie, you’re just spreading more Vantrease propaganda. Ryan was bleeding from his ears, nose, and eyes. Ryan’s jaw was broken. Ryan’s skull was fractured. Ryan’s damage was internal (which makes it clear just how badly Ryan was harmed). Ryan’s brain was bruised, swelling, and bleeding (they had to remove ⅓ of his skull). Ryan was beaten into a coma, for pity sake! Maybe it’s just that you and I have a different understanding of what a “mark” is. Still feeling confident about saying it wasn’t a horrific beating?

      • Paula says

        Debbie from Newark, what is the matter with you? You continue to come to this board spouting off at the mouth about things you clearly don’t know!!!!!

        How do you know what the Emergency Room doctors at Ruby Memorial said? Where you there? What right do you think you have to come to this board and spread falsehoods the way you do? What is wrong with you?!

        This was NOT YOUR SON who was PUNCHED AND KICKED and BRUTALIZED and PUT INTO a COMA. So what do you really know about it?!

        I’ve seen some cold, heartless insensitive people in my day, but by your Inhumane remarks, you have demonstrated a new low in how uncaring and crass a person can be.

        Why don’t you expend your energy reading about the TRAUMA and LIFE LONG SCARS that DISTURBED, VIOLENT PEOPLE LIKE AUSTIN VANTREASE INFLICT ON INNOCENT PEOPLE? I know why you don’t – because you could care less.

        I don’t know how you were raised, Debbie from Newark, but clearly the value system you were taught was not in keeping with any kind of compassionate, civilized mindset.

        You have not a care about the damage done to Ryan and his family, so please don’t continue your charade of referring to yourself as a fair minded person. Your soul is wrapped in a shroud of angry deceitfulness.

        Your only desire is to come here and ADD to the pain and suffering of the Diviney family. This puts you into the same heartless, mean spirited category as VanTrease and company. Please leave for good, and cease your harassment of the victims.

  19. Becky London says

    The Vantrease family has got some big nerve. They are not at all sorry for that behavior or this behavior they are displaying now.

    We are here for you Ryan and family. Ryan’s supporters are everywhere, and I do mean everywhere so look out. We come out of the woodwork for Ryan and his family. The Vantrease jerk is a criminal that is why he is in jail so he can’t hurt anyone else. Karma is coming for you Vantrease family, and SHAME ON YOU!

    • Debbie from Newark and you threaten people in here, so why would I post my last name?? says

      Such mature people on here! Wow, grown adults bashing what were then kids! When will you people learn that many KIDS were involved, many lives were effective, and there was more than ONE KID INVOLVED!

      • Paula says

        Well, Debbie, because we don’t have to swallow whole your version of events, your opinion, or what you think.

  20. Alec says

    Listen everyone, this was in no way meant to stir anyone up. I am simply coming to the defense of a friend, as any one of you would do for your friends. Truthfully, Austin is a good person who made a wrong decision. I know many of you may not agree with it, but its what I know Austin to be in the time I got to know him. In the heat of the moment when groups are attacking each other, adrenaline is flowing and bad MISTAKES occur. I am in NO WAY excusing what Austin did. He knows what he did was wrong. Gravelly wrong. I am sure of that. All I am saying is the bashing of families will help nobody. It is meaningless, it does ZERO good for ANYONE. It will not keep Austin in jail any longer and it will not allow Ryan to recover any faster. I understand that malice and aggression is the first emotion that is displayed in times of tragedy and loss, but the way I was raised was to allow time for remorse and forgiveness. Call me religious or call me ignorant, you can call me what you like. I have no enemies here. I feel horrible remorse for both families, as BOTH were extraordinarily affected by this. But I feel like this site is for RYAN, not for the Vantrease family and not for Austin. These messages should be ones of hope and encouragement for Ryan’s recovery, not ones of hatred and vengeance on the Vantrease family.
    Again I mean no harm to anyone here and I offer no excuses for what has taken place. It is horrible, simply horrible what has happened to both families. Point the finger all you want. You can point it at me for defending a “violent felon.” But understand this, Austin was a friend. I trust in the friend I knew. And you are all kidding yourselves if you wouldn’t do the same for your friends. I asked it in my last post and I will ask again, What would you do if your son was in jail? Or your friend, or brother, or cousin. Regardless of the circumstances. You would support them. I envy both families for loving their children and siblings so much that they would go to the ends of the earth to support them. But bashing another family is not support.

    This is the last I will post, and I am sorry if I offended anyone, it was not my intention. I am just deeply saddened to see a family that I know to be good talked about in a negative light. This is a dark, dark situation that I am sure has brought about dark emotions from both families and I understand that. The Diviney’s have every right to be angered, I simply just wish it could stop being put out in the public, and more important things can be focused on. Like Ryan’s recovery and Austin’s road to redemption, whether you think he deserves it or not. I hope all can see where I am coming from. Negativity does not breed positivity. You all want positivity? I suggest stopping this gossip blog and focusing on the recovery and encouragement of your friend Ryan.

    • Anna says

      Alec, I hope you gave the Vantrease family the same pep talk. His sister should not put up a website with false statements. I would not advertise that our goal was to get our son out to go on vacation when clearly the VICTIM and family of his assault will not be on vacation any time soon.

      • bob says

        Once again Debbie from newark. WHAT are the “facts” that we don’t know? Enlighten us. Why can’t any Vantrease supporters inform us of all the “information we don’t know about”.

    • Paula says

      Alec, of course you and your cohorts want to stir things up. You are angry because your friend is in prison for a crime he committed. He doesn’t want to be there and his family doesn’t want him there either. But the court in WV found him guilty and sentenced him. The victims of Austin’s crime do not agree with you that Austin should be released.

      You said you believe Austin is a good person. That is your belief, Alec. Due to the brutal nature of Austin’s attack on Ryan, many disagree with you.

      You began a statement with, “in the heat of the moment when groups are attacking each other.” Alec, please read or re-read the facts of the case to learn that Austin and Jon physically attacked Ryan. View or re-view the video for confirmation of this fact. Ryan did not attack them. Period.

      “Bad mistakes occur.” Yes, they do, and if they’re really, really bad mistakes, a jury can find you guilty of a felony and you can go to prison. Further, if the victims have suffered catastrophic injury, they will do whatever they can do ensure the perpetrator remains imprisoned.

      With regard to your statement that “the bashing of families helps nobody. It is meaningless.” If “bashing,” in your opinion, means responding to offensive and false comments made by the VanTrease family, then it is not meaningless at all to the victims. Calling out the VanTreases is wearisome, but unfortunately, necessary in order for the public to understand what Austin and Jon did to Ryan.

      Your suggestion that forgiveness be given to Austin presents another issue — I imagine it is very difficult for victims of a crime to forgive someone who shows no remorse, especially when the family publicly states that their son was wrongfully convicted for the crime he committed.

      Finally, your assessment that Team Diviney does not demonstrate support and encouragement to Ryan via this blog is false. If you think that we will stand idly by while the VanTrease family lies to the public about the facts of the case, you are mistaken.

      In order for Austin to embark on a road to redemption, he needs to admit his responsibility in committing the crime, apologize to the Diviney family, offer to help with Ryan’s care, and pay the court mandated restitution.

  21. Anna says

    So tell us about it Debbie from NEWARK. When was the last time you saw any of the Diviney friends/family come after anyone from the Vantrease family? I actually witnessed the Vantrease family verbal assault on the Diviney family outside the courtroom. The Mrs Vantrease herself, yelling at Ken Diviney. She was the picture of class.
    Why doesn’t someone from the Vantrease side tell the story? For me the onlt story I heard was the one presented in trial, the one that Ken has on this website. The story that Andy Vantrease has on her website is not what was presented in trial. Also, if infact Austin was sending the Diviney family money why would they lie about it? There absolutely was more then one kid involved, Jon May, Colin Mckeefrey, Groux, , etc who were all sued. There was also a friend of Ryans, Brian who had both his jaws wired closed thanks to a punch from Jon May/Austin Vantrease.
    Please Debbie, I am anxious, enlighten us with your ‘facts” we are lacking
    To simply say Austin comes from a good family and he would never do this, he didn’t mean this to happen is not sufficient. Tell us what we are missing from the facts of the criminal case.

  22. John Maletta says

    Since May and Vantrease took Ryan’s ability to speak for himself away from us, we’ll continue to speak for him. Period. (understood, Alec?)

    Since the Vantrease family would rather spend their time and money on vacations than showing that they really care and financially helping Ryan, please consider supporting our Ride For Ryan III adventure cycling event that is coming up in just six weeks. Six of us are training very hard to tackle the mountains of central and southern California on the Pacific Coast Highway in early September to raise funds for Ryan Diviney’s Special Needs Trust. Every penny goes directly to pay for Ryan’s huge medical expenses that has financially crippled the Diviney family. Maybe even the Vantrease family and their Newark-based friends will get in on the act and support this cause with a large donation to this charity event. Dare to dream….

    • jo says

      Or how about buying an item from Ryan’s Wish List at or simply mail a check to help defray the astronomical cost of Ryan’s care, Alec. Or anyone? Any item helps no matter how small.

  23. bob says

    Alec, then tell the Vantrease family to shut up. THEY are inciting the comments against them here. They are the ones to blame. Just take a look at all the garbage they spew. No wonder people respond as they do. What they say is just unbelievable and unfeeling.

  24. J.R. says

    Did you guys get a load of what they said on the website? Apparently Ryan was being belligerent, and challenged Colin McKeefery to a fight, and everything happened because Austin was just trying to be a good friend! Ugh. The Vantreases make me embarrased to say that I come from Delaware.

    They even apparently got 250 signatures for their little petition, which is 250 too many.

    • Paula says

      J.R., the VanTreases are a reaching in any way they can to deflect blame, but the truth always prevails. No one is buying what they’re selling — except a select few who have decided to show up on this board and make inappropriate comments. Hoping they go away soon…

  25. Embarrassed in Delaware says

    Wow, why won’t the Vantrese family and there son just simply reach out to the Diviney family and apologies for this “terrible accident ” as they call it? I am from Delaware and have followed this from the day it happened. My heart goes out to the Diviney family, it is unreal what they deal with on a daily basis. But I am embarrassed to say I am from Delaware and know the Vantrese family. Never have I seen on either site or tweet an apology? Or a sniff of remorse??? Why??? Can any of you who support them please answer this question that has been tearing me up inside, to know the answer. Any person with common sense would know that going before the parole board nothing would help there sons case would be to show the remorse and effort they have ALL made to reach out to the Diviney family and try and help in anyway they can???? So far all the supporters for them have shown the same bad tastevtgatvthe family has shown from day 1 of this trajedy. Wake up Vantrese family be the Christian people you say you are and start stepping up to the plate and reach out to this family.

  26. Peggie Fairer says

    Austin Vantrease is actually a very lucky man. He was only charged and convicted of one crime when in fact he was actually responsible for two on that dreadful 11/7/09 night. The justice system screwed up big time and Austin benefited from that grave error. So truth be told, Austin was not even held accountable for his second crime. A blind sided sucker punch to Brian while his hands were in his pockets! All of it captured on video tape. I dread to think that Brian’s head might have been the second football for Austin to use for punting practice as he too lay unconscious on the ground. Who knows to what extent the violence would have continued had it not been for Ryan convulsing on the ground, which sent Austin into hiding and then running from the crime scene? Austin might very well have been spending more time in jail serving two sentences of up to 10 years each if our justice system had not screwed up so badly. Austin was completely let off of the hook for the second crime he committed that night, for which he was never even tried. A very lucky man you are indeed Austin Vantrease! I hope the parole board finds that you deserve to serve the full 10 years!!! Funny how the Vantrease family ignores so many of the facts surrounding Austin’s actions. It really should be more time served so he is held accountable for both of his crimes.

    Continually praying for both Ryan’s and Brian’s healing as well as the misguided sick-minded healing of those who support Austin’s request for an early parole.

  27. Stacey Martin says

    Almost nothing makes me more angry than their denial of responsibility and I have never even met Ryan or anyone in your family. I can only empathize with having two boys close to Ryan’s age and both as outgoing as he was. My thoughts and prayers are always with you. I admire you so very much.

  28. Vicky says

    Wow! I am utterly disgusted by some of the posts on here by the Vantrease friends. As an educated person, I have to say that his sentence of 2-10 years is no where near what he should have been handed. If nothing else, the judge should require Austin to spend time caring for people with the same condition as Ryan to see what life is like for them. I currently have family in the prison system for making poor choices. My family is not fighting for their release. We have the hope and the faith that they will understand that actions have consequences, some are worse than others. By making excuses for the malicious actions of someone, you are condoning what they did and telling them it was acceptable. It is just horrible.

  29. Alec says

    I have really nothing else to say. You all have your views, and I respect them, as you are trying to defend your friend, just as I am. I just hope at some point there is a middle ground reached. It is a shame to see what both families are going through, thats all. I pray for both families, as well as friends of both. I hope one day you are all able to get to know Austin though. You all think he isn’t sorry? That’s the farthest from the truth. He is not some heartless monster. He was a kid who made a grave grave mistake that he will pay for for the rest of his life. And in some way he absolutely should, and he will. But to say he isn’t sorry. That is just ridiculous preemptive judgement. So like I said, I hope one day some middle ground will be reached. For the benefit of BOTH families.

    And for those of you all preemptively judging me….I donated money to Ryans org this week. When I found out about the parole hearing I figured what better time to show the Diviney’s that Austin getting out of jail does NOTHING and will do nothing to stop the support of Ryan. So you all think I’m one sided, I pray for this kid almost every day. As well as check this site every day hoping to God that there is some break through. I will continue to do so. Even if I have to read hate mail in the process. God bless

    Oh and I too and am educated person. Law school student actually. And I can tell you now, no petition will do anything in court. Yeah itll be great for the public to see and everything, but a judge doesnt care about a bunch of signatures. Austin will be judged on his behavior in jail, his current mental state, and what he plans to do upon his release. So, regardless of what anyone is writing online, it wont help or hurt.

    • Nikki says

      “Law school student actually. And I can tell you now, no petition will do anything in court.”

      I’m sorry. What law school do you attend that is teaching you that? The public opinion holds high in front of a parole board.

    • Sara says


      Yeah it’ll be great for the public to see and everything, but a judge doesn’t care about a bunch of signatures. Austin will be judged on his behavior in jail, his current mental state, and what he plans to do upon his release. So, regardless of what anyone is writing online, it wont help or hurt.

      Per your comment, it is clear, that the parole committee feels the same way about Austin as the people commenting here. He was judged on his behavior in jail, his current mental state, and what he plans to do upon his release and found that society is NOT ready for him. It seems that the parole board felt that is behavior in jail, was not up to par since he has not even started the required classes he was to attend. They must not think that in his current mental state that society would be safe with him on the streets. And clearly, his support system, and plans after he is released is not what they see as productive.

      Your words, not mine.

  30. Paula says

    Alec, since you are a self described educated person, you must know that actions speak louder than words. So it was very kind of you to do something to help Ryan.

    But I ask you, can you say precisely what either Austin or his family have done to help Ryan with his pain and suffering, or the Diviney family with their sorrow and all that was taken away from them?

    You are entitled not to believe a petition makes any difference. Many people who have successfully used them to effect change would disagree with you though. If nothing else,
    150,000 + people willing to sign a petition requesting the judge to deny parole for Austin VanTrease is a tangible expression of public sentiment.

    Since you are Austin’s personal friend, it’s clear why you would advocate for his release.
    Those of us who have witnessed the horror of what Austin did, and all the tears, fear, pain and suffering since November 7, 2009 choose to advocate for the victims – who continue to suffer for what Austin did.

    In this case, there are two sides – the perpetrator and the victim. Because of the ongoing and tremendous financial, physical and emotional toll of Austin’s attack on Ryan, combined with Austin’s lack of tangible expression of remorse or restitution to the family, the Divineys cannot support his release from prison.

  31. Gloria Gallagher (not ashamed of my name) says

    Debbie from Newark, Jim & Alec: First and foremost this website is dedicated to Ryan. In case you’re confused, Ryan is in a coma, unable to respond to his Mom when she tells him “I love you”, unable to respond to his Dad when he asks “Does that hurt”, unable to respond to his sister when she touches his arm. We are a united front of individuals who have formed a “family”, not just from Loudoun County, VA & West Virginia but from all over the United States and in fact the World, who are here to offer support, love and fund raising to assist in Ryan’s care. I am truly amazed that you feel the need to come on this site to criticize our efforts and to call us a “cult”. Knowing full well that we will be offended by such comments. Truly, you certainly can find something better to do with your time.

    Personally, I never met Ryan before the attack. He was just another kid that had stopped in my store in the Broadlands with his friends to look around after school. He was happy go lucky, with the world at his finger tips. EVERYTHING WAS TAKEN AWAY FROM RYAN!. Make no mistake, there is a lot of anger felt here on a daily basis. The same questions run through my mind every time I sign on, WHY RYAN? Why did these young men feel the need to injure him so badly and take his life and future away? These are questions that will never be answered. You see even though many of us don’t know Ryan, Ken, Sue or Kari, we have grown to love them through this website. We read stories about Ryan from his friends in high school, at college and neighbors describing this young man who shared his enthusiasm for life with everyone he met. We read Ken’s blog and feel his pain when he talks about Ryan’s latest set back(s) or eye surgery, or the infection that has now invaded his body, and we cry, feeling totally helpless and knowing that there is nothing we can say or do to help this father (Ken) deal with what this new day will bring him.

    So Debbie from Newark, Jim & Alec, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, I am just suggesting that you will receive no sympathy here for AV or his family. What I would suggest is that next time you might want to post, list what items YOU, AV or HIS FAMILY have donated to help with Ryan’s daily care, or perhaps you’re going to organize a fund raiser to help with medical expenses, or perhaps offering a prayer for Ryan’s well-being that day. While I have read your posts, Debbie, Jim & Alec, I have never read a post from Bob, Gail(sp) or siblings on this site, making any offers of help, empathy or heart-felt condolence to Ken & Sue for Ryan.

    Remember this Debbie, Jim & Alec, Ryan is a prisoner every day.

    • Alec says

      I offer the utmost sympathy and heartfelt condolences to Ryan and his family. i sound like a broken record when i say it, but my heart breaks for them. I pray for him every day. My only wish is that this anger, which is understandable, will ONE DAY turn into some form of forgiveness and a middle ground will be met where both families can move forward for the greater good. whether either has done so, i do not know. i am hundreds of miles away from the vantreases. i apologize to anyone i offended. its just tough to watch this situation unfold, from both sides. in one word, it is just truly SAD. for all parties involved. just truly sad.

      • April says

        Alec and others that feel that they must defend the attackers on a site meant for support of the victims, I think it would be extremely difficult to “move forward for the greater good” when you see and live the damage done to Ryan and his family every single day. One does not just get over it – ever. Ryan and his family live with the results of this senseless attack, every minute of every day. Unfortunately, they cannot take a vacation from their new reality. I do not know either party, but it is not normal behavior to attack someone and kick them in the head until they seize. The overwhelming majority of people know that this behavior is inappropriate and they have enough self control to restrain themselves no matter how upset they get that someone does not like their sport’s team. The truth of it is, that the attacker(s) can make their own decisions, tell someone their opinions, needs, and desires, and have hope for the future. They took that away from Ryan just as surely as I sit here. I just found out about Ryan today; he and his family and friends will be in my prayers every day. I will even go as far as to pray for the attackers that they may truly get the full impact of their actions. They go far beyond them spending a few years behind bars and blaming everyone else for their problems.

  32. Renie says

    Ken, would you please set us all straight about restitution paid (or not paid) by AV? Opinions will always differ, but facts can be proven (or disproven). To you knowledge, has he, or has anyone in his family, contributed anything at all to Ryan’s care? If you’re unaware of any contributions, is it possible they may be made without your knowledge?

  33. Gloria Gallagher says

    Alec, a scar fades and eventually goes away, I’m afraid that Ryan’s injuries are not going to fade and go away, his injuries have altered his life going forward. Will the anger ever go away, that’s a hard one………………………..your kind words certainly make me believe that at least you see how much Ryan and his family are suffering. I personally accept your apology (I think for calling me a cult member). My only other recommendation is for Debbie from Newark, unless you SAW first hand Ryan’s injuries, first person, keep your comments to yourself. Ryan was critically injured, near death injured. So jabbing at Ken with those comments is uncalled for.

  34. Anna says

    I think the only thing that the Vantrease supporters have accomplished with their posts and refusal to back their claims up with facts is to encourage more letters to be written against parole for Austin. Debbie has repeatedly been asked for the facts she claims she has and just dances around the questions. This behavior shows she does not have facts to back up her rhetoric.
    Who knows who she really is, is she Gale Vantrease, Andy or another family member?
    Have they seen the posts from Newark acquaintances who say Austin has participated in other attacks on innocent people? There are people who know Austin who are saying Austin finally is getting what he deserves after years of antisocial behavior and thuggery.

  35. says

    As someone who follows this story closely, I can not even believe what I am reading from the Vantrease supporters. It is so ridiculous that anyone can even try to justify what was done to Ryan. In addition to this, to claim it wasn’t really a brutal beating and Austin isn’t the one to blame. These people can not be serious.

  36. Shari says

    Instead of going on vacation maybe RV’s family should use that money to help out their son’s victim. I guess they don’t wonder when was the last or the next time that Ryan and his family get to have a vacation. I am sure that if the shoe were on the other foot they would hold the same opinion that Ryan’s family and supporters do. All the AV supports please do us a favor and go away.

  37. Jordan says

    I look at this and all I see is anger. The fact of the matter is this incident is heartbreaking for many people on both sides and it all comes down to loss. You can sit on here and argue with eachother for hours on whose fault it was, who is expriencing more loss, who is more angry, and what you would do if your son was Austin compared to Ryan and so on but it wont change anything. Many of you believe you were there that night but you were not. You do not know what EXACTLY happened. This tragic incident happened because of two opinions that were different and fought over. Kind of like you are all doing here. Instead of fighting over sides, pray for both. everyone needs it.

    • Gloria says

      Jordan, realize that there is a lot of anger felt by thousands of people over this violent tragedy. I can’t speak for the thousands, only for myself, the courts have decided who was at fault, not anyone on this site. Ryan’s future as he knew it has been taken away from him. He loved to play football, baseball, and have fun with his friends. ALL taken away. There is NO place in our society for violent crimes like this. You’re right, I wasn’t there that night, I don’t know EXACTLY what happened, but what I do know is that there is a video of Ryan backing away, and that is when he was punched (blind sided) and hit the ground. Maybe, just maybe an act of contrition by the convicted felon and his family would be in order. In closing, I would like to define the word incident for you: incident – n. 1. an event, esp. a minor one, 2. a minor conflict. People will always disagree, it is up to a civilized community/state to make sure that disagreement does not become VIOLENT CRIME.

  38. Paula says

    Jordan, in addition to prayers, which so many have been lovingly doing for Ryan and his family since the attack, a large number of friends and strangers have been helping the Divineys in a variety of ways.

    I wonder if you could share all the things Austin, his parents, family members and friends have done to help Ryan, his Mom, Dad and sister cope since Austin put Ryan into a coma?

    What steps, in your opinion, do you think the VanTrease family and friends could take to help alleviate the Divineys pain and suffering?

    Do you think it’s possible that by taking these steps to provide care and support, the anger and frustration the Divineys feel might be somewhat mitigated?

  39. Thomas Helper says

    Jesus preached that men must turn the other cheek. This incident happened when these boys were….boys. From what I have read about this tragedy is that your son was indeed the one to make a first negative comment and then even turn to approach the kids and talk back even more. Even if it wasn’t in Ryan’s nature to do so, he was intoxicated. Austins family proclaims it was also not in his nature to act out as he did, but he too was intoxicated. The court came to find he was an honor roll student and had never had any prior charges. I felt for you and your family but it appears to me you have consumed yourself with hate and have been quite sinful. Speaking about a family who is suffering just as much as you are in such a nasty way is not only cowardly but pathetic. Men can forgive even the harshest of actions. This was an act fueled by alcohol and in this event both sides lost. Your sons friends left him at the scene. Had they stayed with him and called the police maybe Ryan would be in a different state. West Virginia is a university that is a home for fights and your son was involved in one. I can see where the hatred and rage comes from but this blog is disturbing, pathetic, cowardly, and shows you are not one of faith. Get some therapy, Im surprised this family hasn’t sued you for slandering their name and continuously stalking their lives.

  40. Chrissy says

    The Vantrease family is suffering “just as much” as the DIviney family??! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!! ANd, using your words to argue with someone & physically putting your hands or feet on someone are 2 COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS. It’s everyone else’s fault (Ryan’s friend’s fault?!) that Ryan is in the state that he’s in EXCEPT for the 2 guys that actually caused this, right?! WAKE THE HELL UP….WAKE THE HELL UP ….

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