Yesterday morning Austin Vantrease had his parole hearing. It was the first opportunity for him to be released and, true to form, he jumped at the chance. I suppose he never consider that he belongs in prison and his efforts to get out put stress on the victim’s family. To me, it’s just another indicator of no remorse.
I have plenty to write about it too. It’s taking everything in me not to write about it right now. The best way to do this, for the benefit of the reader, is to spread it all out over several posts in the coming days. I promise you, it’s good stuff. As a sneak peek, perhaps the most impressive and heartwarming things was community sentiment. I plan on writing about just how much this helped too. It was so overwhelming that the Parole Board made a huge point of it.
Aside from this, I’ll recap what I said on behalf of Ryan in my victim impact statement. Hell, I might just post my speaking notes. Austin Vantrease had the opportunity to speak and it’s worth passing on to you. I’ll spend a day, saving the most entertaining for last, filling you in on (Pattie) Gale Vantrease’s statement. Fair warning, hold onto your hats for this one!
Today, though, the only news worth knowing is Austin Vantrease had his parole denied.
So, what I’ll do is go out and grab the media’s coverage; which has already begun even before a press release was sent. I’ll compile these in the Newsroom section of the website (under the “Parole” tab) for you to read as I add them. This way, the media can outline what went down and I’ll fill-in with detail and color. I know the media was in attendance, but their article hasn’t hit the internet yet. I’m anxious to read their article.
For now, below is the press release that recently went out.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Diviney Attacker Denied Parole
Austin Vantrease continues serving felony sentence
Huttonsville Correctional Center, Huttonsville, West Virginia – August 28, 2012 – The West Virginia State Parole Board denied Austin Vantrease early release from his 2-10 year sentence. The parole hearing was held within the Huttonsville Correctional Center, a maximum-security prison housing violent offenders, where Vantrease is currently incarcerated. This was the first opportunity and attempt for Vantrease’s parol.
Vantrease was one of the two men convicted of the brutal November 7, 2009 attack in a parking lot just off the WVU campus that left Ryan Diviney in a coma-like state. Vantrease and May, both of Newark, Delaware, were convicted in a July 2010 criminal jury trial in Morgantown, West Virginia. Vantrease was found guilty of felony malicious assault and May of battery. May was sentenced to one year in jail and was released in April 2011 after serving just seven months.
Also injured in the attack was Diviney’s friend and college roommate, Brian McLhinney. According to court testimony, Vantrease knocked-out McLhinney with a punch to the face before kicking an already unconscious Diviney – resulting from a blind-side punch from Jonathan May – in the head several times as he lay defenseless on the ground. An eyewitness described it as though Vantrease was “punting a football”. Ryan Diviney’s father, Ken Diviney, and McLhinney filed a joint civil lawsuit last year against six men they claim were involved in the attack, to include Vantrease and May. The trial is scheduled for next summer.
Ken Diviney maintains a popular website, ryansrally.org, where he gives an almost daily update on his son’s condition and shares his thoughts and opinions, often about his son’s attackers and their family. The website’s content was unsuccessfully legally challenged by Vantrease earlier this year. A Federal Court dismissed the restraining order motion on the premise that freedom of speech transcends, allowing Mr. Diviney to continue posting content.
Vantrease will again be eligible for parole in a year.
Note: If you want to read about the verbal statements given by Austin Vantrease, Me, and Austin’s mother, I put together a four part series. You can start reading them here (after reading this one).
Tom moon says
You all are pathetic. A kid made a mistake and has served his time. Leave the guy alone. Fuck Ryan’s family!
Its all because the justice board is faulty. and no one does anything about it.
John Gulbani says
God bless the Divineys. Vantrease deserves more than 10 years.
Dave Harrison says
God bless you, Mr. Diviney and your family. I hope your trial next summer goes well. As for the convict in this matter, you not only deserve to remain in jail for your full term, but should be buried under it as far as I’m concerned. What you did proves a couple of things. Number one: you are a gutless, heartless, cowardly punk! Number two: when you get out of jail for this offense, you will most likely graduate to something more violent, and more despicable, that will not only land you in jail again, but put you into a place with similar heathens, where you will truly get what you deserve! Burn in Hell you P.O.S!!!
Krissi Valade Moineau via Facebook says
Ken so happy to hear this
Cheryl Shields Askew via Facebook says
Amen for another year…….
Gail Doyle says
Ken ,Greatest news, YAY!!!Ryan has not only “Ryan’s Army,”Team Diviney Prayer Warrior,Rally for Ryan”,etc., but great friends like John Maletta, loved your comment and Anna ,very good idea to send thank you to parole board. Will do….You are always relevant to us Ryan and for a time justice was served. Praying for your healing,Ryan and then true justice will be served!
Will look for your posts Ken and thanks again for all the updates
I too will be sending a Thank You letter to the parole board. I would imagine their job is much like a referees, the person or team on the losing side will always be upset with you. They are dealing with a much more difficult decision than who wins a game. The fact that Austin (The Thug) has been written up numerous times in just a year shows that not only is he a violent person, but does not even now how to pretend to act normal, so as to not get himself in more trouble. Somehow I know he will be in the news many more times in his life for vicious crimes against humanity. Some people are just evil. Ken, I am so proud of your grace and composure throughout this process. You show the rest of us how to cope in the most unbearable of circumstances. Sue, Kari, Duke and Tucker, you also are amazing in every single way. Much love to all of you!
Spot on John Maletta. The only thing better would have been to slap some cuffs on that witch and throw her in with her idiot son. I’m sure they could be making monetary contributions to Ryan’s care to show this so called remorse. It’s all a show for her. Travel 15 hours every weekend – how would they like to spend a weekend or even a day in the life of the Diviney Family. Just disgusting Gail!!!!
Thank God!!! Justice….
God bless Ryan and the Diviney family.
Great news. Happy for Ryan and the family.
Keri Dezell says
Flippin Aaay!!!!! That’s right!
With love and in prayer,
Always, Forever and Until.
Keri, MY FRANKIE and Family
Ginger Henry via Facebook says
That is GREAT TO HEAR!!!!!!!!
Gloria Gallagher via Facebook says
Glad to hear it!
John Maletta says
I’ve just read the Dominion Post article on the parole hearing. I’ve got a question for Gail Vantrease (because I’m sure she’s trolling Ryan’s blog). Gail, if you are so heartbroken for Ryan and feel so sorry for him, why have you done nothing for the past 33 months to help Ryan? You’ve mentioned that conflicts between the Diviney and Vantrease families have made it impossible for anything positive to happen in the future. Do you live your entire life behind a veil of excuses? Why are you waiting for Austin to get out of jail to begin helping Ryan? Why doesn’t your family step to the plate to help Ryan now, when he really needs it? Your lack of action clearly demonstrates that you do not care about Ryan, you are not heartbroken for Ryan, and you do not feel sorry for Ryan. In my mind, your past actions proved that you lied to the parole board, Gail. One more thing: Austin IS A VIOLENT PERSON. Our military doesn’t even treat Taliban prisoners as badly as your son treated Ryan. What he did to Ryan was beyond horrible. His actions are inexcusable under ANY circumstance. His three “write-ups” while in prison provide additional proof (like we needed it) that he is a violent, miserable excuse for a human being and he belongs behind bars. You and your husband created this mess by enabling his violent behavior & you and your husband should step to the plate and, for the first time in your life, do the right thing and selflessly help Ryan.
Just faxed my letter of thanks to the parole board
WV State Parole Board
1409 Greenbrier St
Charleston, WV 23511-0700
Thanking them for denying parole and making a statement that violence will not go unpunished in Morgantown and WVU
Will Nier says
There is a God. Thank you, thank you for prayers answered. I am just so happy for Ryan and his family which include’s all of us. It is a great day
Can’t wait to read the details.
Carla Liberty says
Parole Board thank you is going out….thanks to Anna for a great suggestion!
Sending hugs from the Liberty family xoxo
Hi Ken, I can only imagine how emotionally spent you are after all this. If people could only realize the toll this takes — and yet — for the sake of your son, you and Sue keep pressing on, loving and caring for Ryan, and believing in him. I am hoping that somehow you can get some rest today — though who am I kidding, I know you will be working just as hard today as you do everyday. God bless you for being an amazing father, husband and friend.
To the state of West Virginia Parole Board, my deepest thanks. I now have at least a modicum of faith restored in the justice system. Though Ryan remains severely injured as a result of what Vantrease and May did, at least there is some comfort in knowing Vantrease is still behind bars. I do remain very unsettled about May being out.
To everyone who sent letters — wow — you are the kind of people who make good things happen in the world. Life would be so much harder without you — thank you for putting your caring into action!!!
To Ryan — you will always be admired, cared about, prayed for, respected, very relevant and most of all loved.
Ken, you continue to amaze me with your strength, courage, intellect and tenacity. The same applies to your beautiful wife and daughter.
Love & hugs, gratitude and appreciation, and prayers always
Jo Hobbs via Facebook says
Along with a thank you note, I’m sending a sympathy card for having to listen to the Vantrease’s BS! Yes, I said that! It’s about the restitution payments. 🙁
This is the best news I’ve heard in a long time and I will be ready, God willing, to write another letter to the parole board next year.
It seems that I can start my freshman year in college the day after tomorrow happliy!GOOD NEWS!
I’m thrilled, thrilled, thrilled for Ryan that the Parole Board made the best decision possible. I am sure that we will all rally again next year and every year after to keep Austin right where he belongs.
To you Ken, you are the best for keeping Ryan and his story relevant. He is so well cared for and you still find the time to keep us all informed and allow all of us to surround and support you and your family. I was not surprised to read that the Parole Board has never received so many letters. I’m proud to be among those and as a parent, I’m in awe of you and all you and Sue and Kari do for dear sweet Ryan.
Can’t wait to read your future stories about yesterday, but do let us know how Ryan is doing since the last surgery.
Rita Caporicci Hoop via Facebook says
Ryan is so blessed to have the family he has fighting for him every day (and night). We love you all and you can keep counting on us for support. Big hugs to Ryan, our conquering hero!
Jo Hobbs via Facebook says
LOL! You get a pass, Ken (uh – no pun intended!). Lust didn’t kill you, so it must have made you stronger, Iron Man! We’ll change it to “lustrous.” Now you’ve made us laugh — again! Oww! Now my stomach hurts… …
Gloria Gallagher via Facebook says
Great news! It’s where he belongs for a very long time.
Anna – great idea. I will be sending the Parole Board a thank you card today. I’m ready for the next battle next year, Diviney family!
It makes me so happy to see that this simple act of human dignity and compassion for another person, for Ryan, by writing a letter regarding our beliefs and values of a society and community reigns. Way to go Team Diviney, Ryan’s Army, and all those who have a beating heart for human kindness!
Just finished my thank you card to the Parole Board:
I am writing to you to Thank You for your decision on the Parole Hearing for Inmate Austin Vantrease. This decision speaks volumes regarding upholding human dignity and compassion for another person, another life. Thank you for positively serving and making our society and communities more socially responsible for one another and safe. Thank you for displaying this act of human kindness.
John Maletta says
You nailed it, Amanda! Great message!
Ryan's Rally: We Got This via Facebook says
Imagine my dismay to know “Lust” is!
Just read one of the news releases and it brought tears to my eyes.
The parole board recieved the most letters ever for a parole hearing in Ryan’s case. So proud to have helped, we will always be here, Ryan will always be relevant in our lives.
Is there a link to it?
You posted it, its under News on this site.
Can you post the parole board address and fax number so it is easy for folks to sent their letter, I think if it’s handy we might get more thank you letters sent.
I will do this in tomorrow’s post. Please remind me if you don’t see it.
Thank You! Thank You! to the parole board of West Virginia.
I plan to fax them a “Thank You!” this morning. I think everyone should! It will make an impression that they might remember next year when the parole board meets again for Austin. I am so happy for the Diviney family, this is an emotional “shot in the arm” for Ryans family, friends and followers.
THis is a great idea!
This is great news, Ken & the entire Diviney family!
Jo Hobbs via Facebook says
Patience: Ability to endure calmly — or clamly? You’ve got us in a sweat! Baaad ole Kenneth! LOL Remember, Ryan’s Army, patience is a virtue 😉 but I don’t think impatience is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. I’ll have to look this one up! Ya know we love ya, dear Ken.
Rita Brogan Lundstrum via Facebook says
Yay!!! Can’t wait to see all of your posts.
I know we risk the opinion of some as being vindictive, but we can’t suppress our elation over the parole board’s decision to deny parole to Austin Vantrease! To be honest, I will never know how Jonathan May was released after serving so little time! 🙁 Was this because we didn’t do enough? We will always wonder… …
We prayed about this and asked God, as always, for His will, not ours, to be done. I once remarked that I am not a religious fanatic, but — hmmm, this may be a matter of opinion these days, since I have come to depend more than ever on His guidance in all things. I think, too, that not only can love build a bridge, prayer can, too, and that people who pray together stay together.
You are killing us by making us wait, Kenneth, but we will just have to humor you — especially since you are going to humor us! We can see it coming! I know this one is over-used, but “Go ahead, make my day!” 🙂
Love and prayers, NEGA
Lori Cadmus says
So, so happy to wake up and read this news this morning. Justice has been served.
John Maletta says
Ken after all of the these years, you’re still such a tease. Keeping us hanging through multiple posts….good strategy! I’m curious to hear what Austin’s pathetic excuse for a mother had to say. Way to go Ryan’s Army for your successful letter writing campaign!
Ryan’s Army! I like that! 🙂
Allen Smith says
I never watched the trial. Was Austin’s mother arrested too? Was she found guilty of something but not put in jail? Was it totally her fault that Austin did what he did? Would an abortion have solved this problem but she was denied it by the state? Can a parent stop things like this from happening every single time?
Greg Wells says
Good, Freakin Punk should stay his full term.
John Maletta says
He better hope he stays locked up…he’s safer there. He’ll be ripped limb from limb the day he sets foot outside prison.