Most commented article ever.
Vantrease Family Gets Scorn of Judge.
Before a single bit of information was given on the reconsideration of Austin Vantrease’s sentence, the Judge had a few things to say. He did not mince his words. Although not singling anyone out, he made it clear that any misconduct after the hearing would result in arrest and the charges would need to be answered for.
I was smiling inside. The entire narrative to follow is my personal account. I suspect the Vantrease’s have a different take on it. It seems the always do.
You see, after the sentencing hearing last November, the Vantrease contingent became quite hostile. Gale Vantrease (Austin’s mother) was yelling at me and the media just outside the courthouse doors. Court security made them leave the area. Incredibly, this behavior was right in front of the media!
The group then re-established themselves in the parking garage, waiting. Since they had tried this tactic before, we were escorted by the court to our car. It turned into a melee immediately, as the media looked on. The Vantrease family was on the attack and began a confrontation with the court deputies who positioned themselves between us.
There was, however, one notable exception. Bob Vantrease (Austin’s father) paid for his parking stub and walked, head down, right through it all. His family was out-of-control and he didn’t even acknowledge it. No doubt, the mom wears the pants in that family. I suspect Bob Vantrease’s testicles are in her pocketbook.
Anyhow, last week I received a call from the Victim’s Office. They wanted to eliminate any of this immaturity on this go-around. Yesterday they had us park in a more secure location and escorted us to/from the court to our car without incident. I just don’t understand why the Vantrease’s are mean to me and my family. I really don’t.
Still, even if they somehow associate all this with me, why would they be so public about it? It just doesn’t help anything. Not even their own interests. This is a family that seems to lack both foresight and hindsight. Clearly they are not capable of either controlling or understanding consequences of their actions. Sounds just like Austin, now that I think of it…
Since there was absolutely no new information presented — other than Austin creating a disturbance in jail — the outcome was not a surprise. The judge denied a reduction of sentence. The lawyer for Vantrease was building his case around the support of the family (probably not a good idea) and Austin’s probability at being rehabilitated.
The judge said many factors weighed into the court’s sentencing. Rehabilitation was among the least of these concerns.
By now I’m sure many of you are wondering why Austin even made this attempt. I wondered the same. Then it dawned on me immediately after the hearing… he is simply setting himself up to appeal to the West Virginia Supreme Court. I found the Prosecuting Attorney and asked her. Yep, they had ALREADY filed the appeal. In fact, they filed it before yesterday’s hearing. Looks like we’ll be dragged down this path yet another time.
As is the case from the beginning, the media was present at the trial. I have included a news video segment below from yesterday evening. There is huge interest in this case and the outcome of the trial was public before I even returned home. I’m sure it will be picked-up by the Associated Press (if not already).