Early yesterday afternoon I sent out a blanketing press release to keep the media abreast of the civil trial filed against Vantrease, May, and the others in the group that were directly involved in Ryan’s brutal attack. This was solely prompted by action on the defendants’ behalf. I fully intend to publicize every legal maneuver the defendant’s attorneys opt to execute. To me, it offers valuable opportunity to get Ryan’s story out to even more people. Also, having those thugs known is not too shabby either. I’m confident most news groups will pick it up and publish it. I’m also hopeful it will be on the AP Wire before noon… then the world can see it. So, you might start seeing it showing up any time now (if not already).
Criminal Case Appeal
I’ll show you exactly what was sent. Before I do, though, I thought you might be interest in the criminal appeal by Austin Vantrease. I received an excellent explanation of how it all works with the West Virginia State Supreme Court docket. I’ll quote it word verbatim:
“When a petition for appeal is received, it is first put on the petition docket for review. If the Justices think there may be a valid argument made, they typically move the petition to the motions docket. That is a hearing where the defendant’s attorney has five minutes to present his argument. This is just attended by him and not the state or the defendant. If the Justices still want to hear more, they will then move the case to the argument docket. This is attended by the state and the defendant’s attorney, but not the defendant. They both present their sides and the Justices ask questions. After this hearing (and it usually takes weeks or months) the Justices will decide to order a new trial or vacate the verdict or part of the verdict, etc.”
Immediatley below is the press release I sent yesterday. My intent was to present the new information, while informing anyone new to the story about the past.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Attackers of WVU Student Ryan Diviney Move Civil Trial to Federal Court
Morgantown, West Virginia – September 23, 2011 – Ken Diviney, Ryan Diviney’s father, and Brian McLhinney, Ryan Diviney’s friend, jointly filed a civil lawsuit this August in Monongalia County Circuit Court in connection with the 2009 beating in Morgantown, WV, which left Ryan Diviney comatose and McLhinney badly injured.
In recent legal wrangling, the Defendant’s attorneys removed the civil case filed against their clients to Federal Court in Clarksburg, WV.
The defendants, Austin Vantrease, Jonathon May, et. al, all are from the Newark, Delaware area.
Since none of the defendants are from West Virginia, and the matter in controversy is greater than $75,000, they are able to do this under a federal statute related to diversity jurisdiction. Federal Court follows basically the same evidentiary and procedural rules as in Circuit Court.
Ryan’s Father, Ken, said, “This action by the defense was completely expected. There is no legal advantage to doing this, so I suspect they want to get it as far away from the crime scene as possible.”
Vantrease and May were convicted in a 2010 jury criminal trial in Monongalia County in connection with the attack on Ryan Diviney, which prosecutors and witnesses said began after McKeefery incited an oral argument about the World Series.
Vantrease is currently serving a two-to-10 year felony sentence for malicious assault. May was convicted of battery and completed a one-year jail sentence in April.
The lawsuit alleges that Vantrease and May “willfully and/ or maliciously” caused Diviney’s severe injuries. The lawsuit further alleges that McKeefery, et.al, “substantially encouraged” the physical altercation and prevented Diviney from escaping.
Video evidence from the criminal trial shows Diviney trying to escape by disengaging and back peddling from the aggressors before the attack. Witnesses testified that, without provocation, May punched Diviney when he was not looking. The force of the blow sent him unconscious to the ground where his head struck a metal grate. As described by an eyewitness, Vantrease then ran over and kicked Diviney “like he punted his head like a football”.
The Divineys continue to care for Ryan at their Ashburn, Va., home. Ryan remains in a coma-like state and requires round-the-clock care.
On a completely unrelated topic, you are giving excellent ideas for the vanity license plate. What I think I’ll do is check with DMV online to make sure each suggestion is available (not already issued to someone else) and put it to a vote beginning on Monday. Remember, it is limited to up to five characters, where a blank space is considered a character. Also, consider it is already on a WVU plate background.
- Breaking News: Group Involved in Brutal Attack Sued (ryansrally.org)
- Radio Interview (ryansrally.org)