I just got off the phone with the Victim’s Advocate department for the WV Prosecuter’s office. I hope I explain this correctly…
Austin Vantrease has requested a public defender to file a motion to appeal. He was appointed Attorney Rolo of Morgantown, West Virginia. Prior to this, Vantrease hired his attorney for the trial and sentencing with a $10,000 retainer. Perhaps someone with a legal background could clarify this process?
This filing motion is not the actual appeal itself. It is notice that it will be appealed. According to the Circuit Courts Office, all trial and sentencing transcripts were requested by Vantrease’s lawyer. The hunt for a legal “technicality” has begun.
All the above information is public record and can be obtained through the Circuit Clerks office 304-291-7240.
If the appeal is eventually heard, it will be under the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals at the Supreme Court of West Virginia. After that it would go to the U.S. Supreme Court, but that is almost impossible.
I try not to get angry or frustrated. I really do. Most of the time I’m fine. Still, I just feel like Vantrease is not owning up to all the damage he caused. When did it become okay to not take responsibility for one’s actions? Instead of fighting this, am I wrong to believe he should accept the court’s punishment and pay us the money we sorely need for Ryan’s care?
You would have every right to be upset. Look what that Boy has caused to Ryan and Your Family. He needs to be punished for what he has done. I just dont understand how a person could do that to a another. My Prayers Continue Your Way for Ryan and The family!
The Colangelis says
I have read all of the updates and feel badly Ryan experienced issues over the holiday week. I am thankful his white blood count is good and that the family identified his problem early. I pray to God each day for both Ryan and his family and beleive he will get better. Please keep your faith and know there are many following your updates who are interested in Ryan’s well being. We will continue our prayers and ask God to bless you.
Carrie in Morgantown says
I can only echo the above responses. It is hard to catch a weasel. Just remember you have tons of support right in Morgantown. If there is any pressure we can bring to bear on this end, please let it be known. Can we write letters, or attend hearings? Please let us know what we can do when the time comes. Still here, still outraged, still praying.
If I can, I would like to help in some way…please contact me and let me know how I can help. It may not be much but I want to try.
Crystal DeRouen says
Wow, I am so very sorry that your family has more heartache to deal with. I have been following Ryan daily since the Today Show aired. When I first saw the story I was immediatly drawn for several reasons. This latest development just reminds me of this connection. I have not shared this before because , this is about Ryan and this wonderful family. But here it goes…. 8 years ago in June my one and only brother, age 25 named also Ryan was on his way to work after school on his motorcycle. when he was hit and tradgicly KILLED by a drunk driver ! We were a small family 3 kids that were very close. Shortly after we got a crash coarse in the criminal justic system ! The driver refused the breathalizer test, refused a urine test …. we had to get a judge to sign an order to draw his blood…….so it was drawn at the same hospital that my family was at waiting to get to say our last goodbyes to my presious brothers mutalated body. More than 5 hours after the accident. I later heard in court that the driver was s’tanding over my brothers dying body cursing him because he was going to get in trouble if my brother died ! We also learned in court that when the judge first ordered a urine screening , that this person stated that if the judge wanted his urine that he would have to get on his knees and ‘ get it him self , so they ordered blood to be drawn . 5 hours later his alcohhol level was nearly 3 times the leagal limit !!!!! We went through HELL ! The driver had a total of 5 DWI’s that could be tracted…..but because he had gotten out of most of them…..he was still able to live a normal life and make that fateful choice to drink and drive again that day !!!! I wont bore anyone with all of the details. The driver ended up pleading guilty to a lesser charge of manslauter and was sentenced to 20 years in jail. Which we found out later that if he is ‘good’ he will be out in 10 years….Recently I found out that due to overcrowding of our prisons any prisoners convicted of a “non violent crime” will be givin time served 5 days for every 30 served….He should be home with his family SOON…..My brother will never be home??????? My brother Ryans daughter is now 12, My father has died of a heart attack this past summer and my mother , sister, and i will never be the same……..So im sorry to say that I have lost faith in the justic system. To get through all of this I have 1st learned to forgive the driver…not for him but for myself, only god can judge us! 2nd I have resigned to the fact that god only gives us what he knows we can handle. I pray daily for god to give us the strength to deal with what comes our way. I have learned not to allow the driver who took my brothers life to consume my thaughts but to allow the good memories of my brother to follow me…….I will continue to pray for god to give all of you the strength to deal with things and dont dare give these people the pleasure of intruding your thoughts……sending lots of love…Crystal
Unbelievable! Does this family have any class or character?? Trying to get Austin off on a “technicality”! SHAME ON THE VANTREASE PARENTS!! How about using your energy and money to help the Diviney family, like decent folks would. Not only did Austin Vantrease kick Ryan in the head, he did it right AFTER he sucker punched Brian Mclhinney and broke both of his jaws. Did you not listen to the witnesses at the trial??? The above post is right by saying…”if you thought we were vocal before about what your son did to Ryan, you ain’t seen nothing yet!” I think the Today Show is due a call for a follow-up story/….my husband just said something funny, he said the Vantrease clan must be related to Teddy Kennedy of the famous “Drink, Drive, Swim” triathalon fame. Run from the truth, but it stays with your reputation FOREVER!!!!
Jill in Morgantown says
This punk (Vantrease) needs to be beaten within an inch of his life, and as soon as he recovers, get beaten again and see how it feels!!!! How dare he try to appeal. He did this and needs to take responsibility. I know that’s not a Christian thing to say and I shouldn’t feel that way but I can’t help it. As I’ve said before, I don’t even know the Diviney’s personally but they hold a special place in my heart and many others in Morgantown . It’s so unfair the Diviney’s have to go through this and now this little white trash punk wants to appeal?!?!?!?! UGH!!!!! Still here, still frustrated, and still praying in Morgantown, WV
Carla Liberty says
How very sad indeed. But I tend to agree witht he other posts – when you aren’t raised to take responsbility and/or pay the consequences of your actions, this is the result. What I’m curious about is the prior incident regarding Vantrease. Wasn’t he on parole for something else when he did this to Ryan? Doesn’t this show a “pattern of violence” or was the prior incident not permissible in court? Whatever the case may be, I will (A) pray he doesn’t get off on a technicality and (B) he and his family have a change of heart and accept responsibility. Unless and until that happens, I feel most certain the Divineys won’t see dime one from this family. Criminal.
Cheryl Onderchain says
Whatever happend to personal responsibility? Sad statement about society ; (
P.S. I’ve learned that people cannot give what they do not have, i.e. if one was not raised with knowledge of right and wrong, nor held accountable for wrong behavior, he/she has no understanding of it. And, unfortunately, this is exactly what we’re dealing with here — and it ain’t pretty.
Thank the Lord for modern technology (i.e. video cameras), truthful people (all the witnesses), and the wonderful police officer who quickly came to the scene and saw Ryan’s injuries first hand. This is not just Austin, it’s the entire Vantrease clan, looking to avoid in any and all ways possible the consequences of Austin’s behavior. That they are behaving in this manner, disturbing as it is, does not surprise me. But what really upsets me is that your family must continue to deal with the Vantreases. It seems to me they are unwilling to even acknowledge the horrible attack committed by their son, much less show an ounce of genuine contrition or remorse for it. Tis truly a sad, and deeply troubling state of affairs. We don’t have much choice but to put faith in the legal system of West Virginia. However, I think a writing campaign on Ryan’s behalf would definitely be in order, including all documentation related to Ryan’s case, such as videos, newspaper articles, etc. We will all have to rally around Ryan before the courts once again, it seems. I am praying the courts will find a way to quickly reject the appeal. The last thing I want to see is for the Diviney family to be forced to endure anymore heartache that involves the Vantrease clan. And to the Vantrease clan, who I am sure reads this blog, if you thought we were vocal before about what your son did to Ryan, you ain’t seen nothing yet!
You have absolutely every right to be angry! His unhuman act that night took away someone very precious to your family and changed life for you all. His appealing only proves that he is a child, a child incapable of owning up to his actions. If he was a man he’d own up to what he did and take responsibility for his animalistic behavior. He owes your family much more then 10 years and restitution….Stay strong Diviney family
Rally for Ryan says
We will be notified by the court if/when the appeal is granted. The actual appeal will be sometime after that. The way I understand it is Vantrease had something like 60 days to file that he plans to appeal. This allows him another period to then actually file the appeal. Once filed, the date will be set.
My interpretation is early-spring of next year.
I have been following your story for some time now..I really learned a lot about it from my Soc 101 teacher from the Spring 2010 semester.
I am sending prayers to your family that this will work out for you. He needs to be a man and take his punishment for what he has to Ryan and your family. Will you know when the hearing will occur?