The following is the Victim Impact Statement my daughter, Kari, presented at the Austin Vantrease parole hearing. She stood before the Board, Austin Vantrease, and his family and let her words flow.
I am Kari Diviney, Ryan Diviney’s little sister. I would like to thank the Board for allowing this opportunity for me to share my personal thoughts, opinions, and recollection.
I will never forget the night my parents ran into my room at 4:00 in the morning with tears streaming down their faces. All they told me was that Ryan was found unconscious in a parking lot at his school and that he was taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital. This was the only information they were given at the time…since it was unclear the damage that had internally been done. They told me to stay home with the dogs and not to worry… I assume this was because I was a young girl at the time who had just begun my senior year of high school and they did not want to concern me. But I still waited up with worry and complete panic till 7 in the morning.
Then the worst happened. My phone rang. My dad tells me that I need to get to Morgantown as soon as possible… When I asked ‘why,’ all my dad could say was “you need to come say goodbye.” In that moment my world ended. It felt like I had been repeatedly punched in the stomach. I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t understand. I could hardly speak. I asked ‘Why daddy? Why?’ And all he could get out was “Just get here…your brother doesn’t have much time.” Shaking and in complete shock all I could say was “PLEASE tell Ryan I love him and to hang in there till I get there.”
The whole car ride was a blur. All I remember is hysterically crying past every graveyard I drove by. Three agonizing hours later I met my uncle outside the ICU. He brought me to where my parents were. I had never seen my dad’s eyes so swollen and red. They assured me they told Ryan to wait for me, but were unsure if he would make it through surgery. The doctors told us that there was a 50% chance he would die on the table. One doctor refused to even do the craniotomy and told us Ryan would be lucky to make it even 24 hours with the swelling and trauma he endured. All that I could think about as I waited was that I may never see my brother alive again. That I never got to say goodbye and that he would never know how much I loved him.
Against all odds, my brother survived the surgery. I ran out into the hallway and saw him being rolled to us. It was my brother in that hospital bed, but it wasn’t Ryan. And it never would be again. My brother survived on November 7th 2009. But Ryan Kenneth Diviney died.
I could hardly look at him. He had bandages wrapped around his head and a tube leading from his brain to drain his blood into a large plastic bag. Both his eyes were bruised purple and black and he had a tube down his throat to give him oxygen.
It made no sense. Who could have done this to my sweet brother and why? What propels someone to cause so much damage to another human being?
Then information started pouring in. People began stepping forward with the information they knew once they heard what happened to Ryan. To my disgust I learned that the two people who did this to my brother had left him in the parking lot that night and proceeded to another place and talked about what had taken place.
Then footage from the Dairy Mart parking lot, where my brother’s life was brutally beaten out of him, was released. The last footage I ever saw of my brother is him back-pedaling away from Austin Vantrease and his group of friends. That was the last time I saw my brother as Ryan Diviney.
Ryan was not a fighter. Ryan was innocent that night and always will be. Ryan was attacked over a debate about the Phillies Vs. the Yankees. My brother lays comatose over 4 ½ half years later because of a baseball game.
Austin Vantrease kicked my unconscious and defenseless brother in the head that night. Austin Vantrease hid like a coward behind a dumpster and watched as my brother’s body started violently seizing. Austin Vantrease watched as the blood poured out of every hole in my brother’s head and didn’t Austin Vantrease proceeded to a party where he bragged and laughed about what he had done?
You have to be some kind of evil to commit that kind of an act of violence on a person within a time frame of less than two minutes. Normal human beings do not kick unconscious strangers in the head over a baseball game. Normal human beings would have called an ambulance. Normal human beings would not leave a person profusely bleeding and seizing there to die. & Normal human beings would not be able to live with themselves after they saw the damage they had caused let alone go straight to a party.
If Austin Vantrease can act on impulse that quickly and cause such traumatic damage then brag about it… Then Austin Vantrease should not be allowed to be a part of regular society.
My big brother is gone. All that is left is a shell of what he used to be. When I hug Ryan …he doesn’t hug me back. When I tell Ryan a funny story he makes no expression. When I look Ryan in the eyes he doesn’t look back. When I hold his hand it lies heavy and motionless.
Ryan was only twenty years old when Austin Vantrease took his life. I was an 18-year-old high school student and I am now a 23-year-old college graduate. I am older than my older brother. It is not fair. Ryan should’ve experienced college. Ryan should have graduated two years ago. Ryan had such big dreams. But now, Ryan will forever be a twenty-year-old sophomore at West Virginia University.
Austin Vantrease did not only take Ryan’s life that night, but he took my parents as well. My dad gave up his job to care for Ryan24/7, and my mom constantly works & travels between Virginia and New York to pay for Ryan’s medical bills. They never get any sleep and always put Ryan before themselves and their health. In these past 4 ½ years I have watched my parents slowly wear away right before my eyes. Austin Vantrease is killing my whole family and I just have to watch.
What scares me the most is time. It is all a matter of time before Ryan’s body gives up on him. It is all a matter of time before Ryan can’t fight off any more infections. It is all a matter of time before his weak and frail body shuts down on him. Traumatic Brain Injury victims such as Ryan are only given an estimated 6-10 years to live. It is all a matter of time till Ryan is truly gone forever. All because of Austin Vantrease. …When Ryan dies, it will be because Austin Vantrease killed him.
I worry every single day for my family. How will my parents cope when Ryan is really gone? How will I cope? What will I do when my parents are gone? I will be all alone. I should have Ryan here to grow old with. I should have my big brother to protect me and be there for me when times get hard. Me and Ryan should’ve gone to college together and we should have grown old together. Ryan deserved the world. He deserved to live a long and happy life. He deserved to have a wife and become a father. He deserved to live out all his dreams. Ryan should be here. Not just his body…. But his soul. His brain should be here. His thoughts and memories should be here…. But instead they were viciously kicked out of him forever.
What I have learned these past 4 ½ years is that there are things worse than death. What Ryan endures every single day is worse than any prison or any hell. Ryan was given a life sentence by the hands of a malicious stranger. Austin Vantrease is a violent monster with no remorse for what he has done. If Ryan hadn’t crossed his path that night I assure you it would’ve been someone else lying in that hospital bed or even in their grave. Violent people like Austin Vantrease cannot and should not be a part of regular society… and it was all a matter of time before he harms someone else.
I am proud that Ryan Diviney is my brother. I am proud that Ryan was innocent and always will be. I am proud to say my brother is Ryan Diviney and not Austin Vantrease. Because if my brother ever did what Austin Vantrease has done to an innocent life, I would never support him and would be humiliated and utterly repulsed to call him a family member.
Austin Vantrease is not sorry for what he has done and neither is his family. It is horrifying to me that his family supports him for taking a man’s life. What happened November 7th was not a fight. Ryan never had a chance. What Austin Vantrease did was immoral, malicious, and just plain evil and he will never be forgiven. Forgiveness is up to Ryan…and I don’t think he has a choice either way.
So I am here today to speak what my brother cannot. I am here to stand up for my big brother because I know he would do the same for me. I miss Ryan every single day and it kills me that he is never coming back. All the life and all Ryan was, was brutally kicked out of him on November 7th, 2009… all because of a baseball game.
Cat Hill says
I am so sorry for your loss and l am disgusted that the defendant only got parole. What The Hell is wrong with the justice system!? This is a TOTAL OUTRAGE! Moreover, i am deeply sorry for what he did to your sweet brother Ryan and for the change you and your family has had to endure. I cried hard when I read your statement and wish I could make it all go away. You sound like a brave young girl and I wish you and your family the peace they so rightly deserve. Hugs out to you all, especially Ryan. i can only hope that one day this vicious crime catches up to Austin in some way or form. Karma is only a heartbeat away. I know it will never restore Ryan to his former self, but perhaps Karma will give you and your family a small bit of satisfaction. Stand TALL and be strong. May peace find you.
Corinne Cox says
I know I have commented on this before, but every time I read this it brings so many tears to my eyes. The love Kari has for Ryan is absolutely indescribable! You can tell she looked and still looks up to Ryan. There is no doubt that he knows how much his sister loves and cares about him. This breaks my heart and mends it at all the same time. It breaks because she had to make this sort of statement, but it mends because of the love and admiration you can sense in her speech. It’s very disheartening to know that Austin is already released, but one day Karma will catch up with him and Jonathan. It’s just a matter of time. Much love to you all!
Trudy Berger says
God bless u & ur family
Christine Dietz says
God Bless you and your family. Justice will be served, if not in this life, then by God
Brittny Zettl says
Wow! What a very powerful and courageous speech. I don’t know your family, but I adore each of you. My heart breaks for you all, and now more than ever. The justice system is unjust! This post and Ken’s made me cry, I admire you all for becoming such amazing caretakers and stepping up to do for Ryan as he would for any of you. It’s absolutely sickening that a vicious monster could be lurking around any corner now or watching this page. Above all, I hope that your family knows how amazing your doings are; as a nurse I see families toss their loved ones into nursing homes and facilities to rot. Ryan is beyond blessed with an amazing family….. Stay strong! I will never stop praying for each of you 🙂
I am not sure how I missed this story until now, after seeing a post on FB. Its absolutely heartbreaking. My heart hurts for Ryan & his family. I can’t imagine pain the family must feel every waking moment since the incident. I couldn’t agree more with Kari’s words and so sorry that your family is going through this nightmare. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Xoxo….I pray that one day you and your family can celebrate the wonderful memories of Ryan. I wish I could say the pain will get easier, but that wouldn’t be the truth.
Wow, all I could do is cry through reading this. Powerful, and heartbreaking all at the same time. I lost my little brother at the age of 27, not in the same manner, but the pain of it is unbearable on some days. My heart breaks for your family. I have read alot through many things on this sight, and most of what I have read breaks my heart, but this message most of all.
Rhonda Morin says
What did the court do when they heard this? What did f-tard’s family do? Did anyone even shed a tear like we all are? How do you hear these words from the girls mouth with Ryan there and not just scream “no, you go to the hole forever!” He is a murderer, I never saw things like she describes them. I am the optimist that he will recover but she is right, his body will eventually give out.
I am outraged.
Betty berry says
Breaks my heart to read this story . Ryan is your brother and he and your family should never have had their lives destroyed this way. Words can not express what you must be feeling. Justice system leaves much to desired when the man that committed this horrible crime received parole. I’m truly sorry kari
Be proud of speaking for your brother what a beautiful and well written statement of his life and your families
The next step in this process should be for everyone to come together and purchase a billboard in the town that Austin is headed to and let everyone know what kind of monster will be living in their town. It seems to me that we should be able to fund something like that through Fund Me, or some similar site.
PK Miller says
This sounds like a terrific idea, Sara. Only thing is can the Divneys do this legally. The punk has rights, you know. Convicted felons have more rights than we do. Like I said, too, if this piece of s–t was convicted of a drug crime or God help us, sex crime, especially the latter, he’d be incarcerated for a long time & under strict supervision when he was released. I do believe we have gone down the rabbit hole, through the looking glass and straight to hell in a handbasket.
Jane Bott says
I was not proud to be a mountaineer on that fateful day……….. I’m so sorry for your family.
Emory Simmons says
I’m so sorry for what happened to your loving brother.this makes me so angry. we do not have a legal system in America. I wi’ll pray for you and your brother.. as for the other boy God help him if I ever run in too him..thank you and God bless.
Debbie tanner says
I think of al of you often. I put myself in your shoes and cannot begin to imagine what all of you are going through!!!! Just know that we send our prayers to all of you!
J. Smith says
Whatsup with Ryan’s eyes?
Andrea Wyatt says
Are u an insensitive jerk? He is in a vegetative state! That’s what is wrong with his eyes. Show some compassion!!!!
Ryan's Rally LLC says
This should explain it for you: https://ryansrally.org/forums/topic/why-are-his-eyelids-stitched-mostly-shut/
Crystal Gaither says
I am so sorry that this happened to your brother. I cannot begin to imagine the pain it has cause you and your family. I would feel the same way if something like this happened to one of my sisters. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Man, Im absolutely heart broken after hearing this story. Is Vantrease helping you pay medical bills?
I dont think this message alone is good enough to form an opinion about Vantrease. There are always two very different sides to each story. Im not saying he is not guilty of kicking the guy into a coma, but sometimes even the inexplicable has an explanation.
eric bunting says
hi im so happy to see all the support given to you an your family.. i can attest to immense pain and it does not fall under the same category as yours but your story truly helps me and gives me strength knowing we are never alone in the struggle of life an all these comments embody therighteousness of mankind..i am so very sorry this incident occured to.your family and even more sorry that the monster will walk the streets again..i hope you can find just a little bit of comfort in the fact that EVERYONE has a onscience to some extent and this monster will endure the feeling of guilt to some degree even if he never shows it..that being said its no where near enough to compensate for your loss and i want to beat the kid to a bloody pulp for you..but id be thesame monster as him..the message im trying to convey to you is that you your family me and everyone else on this post are the ones able to make the world a better place and make life worth living for others..an oppertunity has been given for you to showcase the immense strength compassion an resiliency of the human spirit..you are truly divine and you know as well as i there are brighter days ahead..keep pushing kari i love you
Annie Mann Peters says
I am so sorry. ..Your love for your brother and family is so awesome. ..I pray for peace for your family and cannot for the life of me EVER understand the Hate and Violence of this world. .May God Bless You All…And as for Austin. ..I hope he has eternal hell….
It is so plain to see the immense amount of love you have for your brother and parents. Your words were so incredibly powerful, in tears and very moved. Praying for all of you because you are very undeserving of this tremendous heartache and pain.
Kevin Miller says
Kari, my heart goes out to you and your family. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to watch your brother waste away, to know what he went through over a freaking baseball game It makes no sense. We lost our 17 year-old daughter last year to her Army recruiter. The police were no help-I had to find her myself. I can’t know what you’re going through but I have some idea. All I can say is my prayers are with you and your family. Our only comfort comes from believing Michelle is safe in a better place. I pray that you find a way to cope. It’s not easy. God bless you.
Sheri Bills says
So sorry, will say prayers for your entire family.
Jerome Kyler Beightol via Facebook says
Breaks my heart every day to know of this travesty of our failed system of justice. To the entire Diviney family our thoughts and prayers are for you! Such eloquence in the face of adversity is so uncommon and it is called uncommon valor for this very reason. Each of you embody the very essence of valor and constantly give to others. It is why so many flock to you to find out about this inner connectivity. We keep praying for a miracle for Ryan, but, do know he is getting tender loving care like no other. You all are brave and courageous! The outpouring of hurt and pain to this unjust act is our hope that those that made it ok for vantrease to be free needs to reexamine their own conscience.
You are the bravest person I know, as is your family. I know you handle things because we are given no choice. But we do have a coice how we react. You are the very example of love, diginty and a true tribute to your place in life. I pray you will all know God has a special place for Ryan & for one day all of you. You have made such a difference in so many lives
I’m so sorry for everything your family is going threw. Sorry that he was granted parole, these words are so true and the emotions flow with every word. Your family are in my thoughts.
Lorie Bigham- Phillips via Facebook says
Cinda Elswick via Facebook says
Such a great and heartfelt statement Kari! So sorry for all the pain that monster has put your family through!!
Lauren Tranculov says
I’m sorry but Austin deserves to have his life taken just as he took an innocent mans life. Ryan would be so proud of you and how much u are standing up for him. i have a brother and i could not imagine how i would feel or what i would do. but come on over baseball? what is wrong with people these days. it just goes to show their are bad people out there who don’t deserve a chance at life. he deserves to rot in a jail cell. I’m sorry your brother was taken from you, i would spend as much time as possible and tell him everything you can. he is still on earth and is still your brother. I’m sorry this had to happen to such an innocent family, noone deserves this. you are such a strong family and i wish you all nothing but the best. you are a strong girl and i read everything you said and i can’t help but just feel such anger and emotions. I’m angry, I’m in shock because I’ve been keeping up with your updates on Ryan and its not fair. that boy austin deserves to suffer the consequences because Ryan is each and everyday. i just cant help but feel such anger for that person. I dont even want to waste my breathe on him because he’s not worth it. ryan and your family are worth it. god bless you all
Andrea Wyatt says
How sickening is it that you can beat the life out of someone and then get to be free to live your life less then 5yrs. So what are we telling this family? That this son, brother, grandchild life is not important. My heart truely goes out to your family. This young man deserves more then this!
Ryan's Rally: We Got This via Facebook says
Over 100,000 have now viewed this post! Please continue to share!!!
so powerful and yet sad we can’t rely on the law to help us. I believe in an eye for an eye and he will get his in the end!
Powerful letter. So well thought out, I was glued to reading every word. I continue praying for the Diviney family.
My heart aches for you. You, your family, and Ryan are in my prayers. So many innocent victims are punished by the judicial system, please don’t let this make you a bitter young lady. The bitterness will only eat you alive. Find something good and kind to dedicate yourself too, in Ryan’s name. God’s blessings on you.
We prey for your familie
Lorri Ledsome via Facebook says
This is very powerful Kari!!! I cannot believe they can let that monster out of prison!
God bless you Diviney family. May he wrap his loving as around you and give you peace. Many years ago I heard a daughter of a murdered man speak about his killer being free. She said,” he may be free but he will be forever locked in the jail of his own conscience”. I believe this applies to Austin as well! Ryan was a wonderful young man whose spirit will be with you forever. Praying for you! Hugs!
Amanda Hageman via Facebook says
Vantrease better have eyes in the back of his head…. He may have been paroled, but he sure as hell isn’t going to be free. Karma is a bitchh and it’ll come around in due time. There are so many people on Ryan’s side. You have a very strong family!
Hello, I am but a random stranger on the internet – but I just wanted to say how sorry I am for what you and your family have had to go through. How sorry I am that the person who did this is not still rotting in jail. And how strong and amazing and brave you are, not just for writing this, but for going through this, experiencing this, and still waking up every day, going to school, and doing the best you can.
I’m very sorry you lost the person he was, for you and your family. My sister passed away at 16 and I did not have to go through all of what you are.. and I just simply cannot even imagine. It would be like losing her every day. It breaks my heart.
I don’t really pray but I will for you and your family.
This is so heartbreaking. I can’t believe somebody would do that over a stupid baseball game.This worthless piece of scum should be in prison or better yet should get the death penalty(I know it’ll come from our hard earned money) but he doesn’t deserve to live…from a fellow West Virginian my heart goes out to you and your family<3
Dian Strong-Simpson via Facebook says
It is a travesty that the criminal, Austin Vantrease, was granted parole. He should serve the same sentence he inflicted upon Ryan and serve it as long as Ryan does. Ryan was not given a second chance to live a successful life and neither should Vantrease. Kari’s tribute to her brother was beautiful and it is such a shame it fell upon deaf ears. My heart goes out to the Divine family.
A similar story happened in Bloomsburg, PA. So sad to read and he is a proud big brother knowing you did this. Very strong and loving! Thoughts are with you and your family!
Alison Angus-Barry via Facebook says
Kari, so well said. I am so heavy hearted about what has happened to your brother and your family. I am so very sorry that your brother was ripped from you by that vile excuse for a human being. Your family is in my thoughts and I will not forget about Ryan.
Tammy Williams via Facebook says
Oh my, prayers to the Diviney Family.
lol he died
You are hardly anonymous….You can be traced….the last Vantrease friend, who tried to remain anonymous, she was “outed” by Ken.
Plus, I would be careful “anonymous”, because possibly, if accepted by the state of Delaware…coming to a neighborhood near you soon…convicted felon Austin Vantrease…..lol
You are an embarrassment to mankind.
This comment is directed to the person that is referring to themselves as “anonymous.”
Ria Fernandez via Facebook says
Thank you to you and your family for continuing to fight for justice. There are no winners but there should always be justice, and that has been denied to you. My heart goes out to you and your family xx
Karen T. says
Kari, Ryan would be proud of you. You are a blessing to your parents and have much to share with this world. God bless you.
Sherry McMillion says
I’m so very sorry this happened. The world is so full of evil. I pray for this family. Their lives have been taken away from them. One Day, Austin IS going to pay for what he has done. No one will be able to help him, just like he left Ryan…. helpless. Only Austin is going to wake up in hell one day, where justice for Ryan will finally be served.
What he has taken from this family, can never be given back. Vengeance is the Lord’s, and one day ….. Austin WILL Pay! He will pay with his life, just like he has taken this families.
May God Himself bless and comfort tins family all the days if their lives, as only He can.
Sue Bennett Markley via Facebook says
Wish there was more to this story…… one with a happy ending. We all wish the best for your brother Ryan and your whole family. Wish all your pain could be taken away. Always praying for a miracle for your Ryan. Tired of even thinking about that evil person that caused all your pain. Unless someone in your family has been effected by caring for someone with a TBI— they just couldn’t have a clue, what you’ve been through. My heart goes out to your family. My 23 yr old grandson was in a car accident Feb of 2013 and has a TBI also. When I pray every day for Brett, I always pray for Ryan also. Your brother is in so many prayers.
Fernanda Quinonez Jones via Facebook says
This made me cry and words are beautiful, I’m SO sorry he got paroled, is so sad the amount of evil behind this when it all could have ended with walking away on both parties, I wish they understood the amount of pain you guys endure and go through day to day, second to second, We keep praying, praying Ryan will wake or come out of the state he is in. I wish no harm to no one but Austin’s family will never understand how much it hurts you guys.
Insanely powerful statement. I am sitting here on the bus ride home from work in the city reading this in tears (probably looking like a crazy person to everyone else). I have no words except my prayers are with you guys…As always.
My heart utterly breaks for your famy and for you. My nephew has a traumatic brain injury but not because of some disgusting filth of a person, it was a motorcycle accident. I am so sorry. To the other family, may he rot in hell and them to if they support what he did!
Stephanie Gallimore-Rinehart via Facebook says
I think I cry every time I read Ryan’s story & I’m in tears now reading Kari’s story. I’m sure your family & close friends as every one else is shocked of the parole boards decision. I’m so sorry the judicial system failed your family. I’m sorry for what happened to Ryan that night. Kari, your words are beautiful. Ryan & your family remains in my thoughts and prayers.
Goldie Dixon says
Kari, I have followed your story’s since this has happened and every time I read anything about Ryan I cry. It breaks my heart. I pray for your family. I cant imagine what you have been though and gone though. But as hard as it is try to find forgiveness in your heart. Let God be the judge. I know your probably saying what kind of idiot are you, and thats easy for you to say. And yes im sure i would feel the same way, but God tells us in the bible forgive others as he has forgiven you. We must forgive to be forgiven. And When God decides to take Ryan to Heaven I’m sure that will be your familys
Goal to be with him again someday. And when you do see him in Heaven he will be completely healed. You will remember him the way he was before this happened. I wish I could meet you in person an give you the biggest hug right now. As I set here sobbing for you my heart is broken with your pain. You are such an inspiration and I’m so proud of how you stood before them and told your story. Thinking of you and praying for you. Goldie in WV
Kara DiMeglio Gee via Facebook says
My prayers to all of you.
Jen Lovelace says
Honey, you wrote with such eloquence and raw pain. My heart continues to break for you, Dad, Mom and of course, Ryan. I wish I had words that could take away your pain. I know there are none. I worry about all of you. Please know how very proud I am of you and your ability to speak on Ryan and your entire family’s behalf. All of you are forever in my heart!
Jean Dolan via Facebook says
My heart goes out to your family. I also was in tears while reading Kari’s eloquent statement. Heartbreaking in the least. I only wish there was something I could do for all of you. The release of this person who inflicted the injuries to Ryan is a travesty. May God comfort and keep you all strong.These words are not enough but they are all I have.Hugs!
Rita Blouch Zohn via Facebook says
Beautiful words Kari! This man should have to rot in prison the rest of his life! Austin is a true coward!
Kari, everything you said is more than enough for any person to understand that VanTrease and May should have been given more serious charges when they committed their crime. Attempted murder comes to mind. Yes our justice system is better than many others, but too often it severely fails the victims. This leaves people feeling as though the criminals are given preferential treatment. And in this case, it’s surely true. I don’t know what can make it better.
It would be one thing if the VanTrease family had chosen to rally around Ryan the same as thousands of others have done. It would take an edge off the terrible heartache and sorrow if Austin VanTrease and Jonathon May’s families would have offered to help with Ryan’s care. Any family with integrity, character and class would have done this. So it’s plain to see who and what we’ve been dealing with in the VanTrease and May families. They appear not to give a crap about anyone, could obviously care less about Ryan and your family, have no compunction about lying in order to cover up the sins of their son, and carry on with the most arrogant and disgusting of attitudes in my opinion.
I wouldn’t want to live my life like that and I know no one on Team Diviney would either. Which is why neither the perpetrators nor their families have made the effort to help. They seem to be missing a part of their conscience that contains compassion, empathy, honesty and knowledge of how to do the right thing. What a scary, awful, heartless way to live. May they reap what they have sown.
You keep being you, Kari, and never change!! Always stay full of hope, promise, kindness, laughter and faith. It is a terrible misfortune that your family had to cross paths with the VanTreases and Mays. Of all the people, it had to be them. But to the degree they have been nasty and cruel, you are compassionate and good, and your life will be filled good things. Spread your wings and fly away from these cretins. Focus on all that is positive, meaning, put these cads out of your mind as best you can. Don’t let their darkness become yours. You’re too bright and beautiful and Ryan wouldn’t want you to focus on people who have caused you so much heartache. He only wants a successful and happy life for you!! And you deserve to be happy!!!
Praying for you, Kari, that every day you will know how valued, loved and cared about you are by so many. Team Diviney will continue standing behind you and your family 100% !!!
Diana Landers via Facebook says
Well said Kari.. My heart breaks with you and the whole entire family and everyone who supports ya’ll. I am so very sorry you had to write something like this I dont think I would have been able to or even know where to begin. Much Love from Texas.
Cheryl O. says
Oh, Kari. This was hard to read, so I know it must have been hard for you to write. It’s clearly straight from your heart.
We will always be here for you and your family. Take care honey.
Ryan knows!! ♡♡
Great words come from great people. Keep yalls head up.
Tara Coons-Hulett via Facebook says
This story is absolutely beautiful and touching as a tribute to your brother. The legal system is less then fair. Your brother and family are so very lucky to have you in their corner. I am so sorry the court system failed your brother. TBI is near and dear to my heart.
Tracy Reynolds says
Wow, what a powerful and eloquent victim impact statement! It’s sad the parole board wasn’t listening when they granted Austin Vantrease parole. This monster should NEVER be released! My heart aches for you and your family! 🙁 God bless you and your family!
As long as Austin is in Morgan town he will have a daily reminder of the monster he truly is. (Thought that is not enough justice in my eyes).
Ryan may not be able to say it, but he knows on the inside how much you guys love him and you all still have not given up on him. You guys are what a family is suppose to be.
Pat Dyer via Facebook says
A very open and honest statement – well done Kari.
Karma will bite Austin and his family back one day. It serves him right for what he did to Ryan.
Jennifer Paynter via Facebook says
Good job Kari:) beautiful words from a beautiful sister….Ken, is the monster accountable for further damage, God forbid….I mean can and will he be charged if Ryan takes a turn for the worse? I hate asking this question, but keeps me up at night. God bless the Diviney family.
Christina Brucker Shupe via Facebook says
What Kari said was amazing and so true! My heart breaks for Ryan and his family. I can’t believe they would parole him. It is just disgusting.
Oh Kari, my heart is breaking all over again for your family. You are the best sister Ryan could possibly have, and the two of you are the best kids your parents could ever have hoped for. You two make all of Team Diviney so proud to know you and have you representing Ashburn and WVU. Your family is such a blessing to all of us, and we wish we could bless you back even more. The only consolation I feel, God forgive me, is that someone as malicious and remorseless as Austin may get to live his life for now but will not be enjoying eternal paradise with any of his victims. Never lose hope for Ryan or your family, Kari, in this life or the next. We love you and continue to stand by you forever. Stay strong!
Both the dad and the sister are on FB (bob and andaya vantrease), all should let them know what a POS their son/brother is.
I am already crying just after reading the first two paragraphs….where any of the Vantrease family or board reacting to this powerful emotional impact statement?
You would have to have ice in your veins not to be crying especially if you were present.
Kari, you did Ryan proud. I saw he was in the post parole hearing video with your mom you and your dad. I assume he was there, heard your statement, and that the board and the Vantrease family saw him first hand.
Becky Benson Bailey via Facebook says
Beautifully said, I only wish your words had been heard, I only wish that a petition with 162,000 signatures had been enough to keep him in jail where he belongs..I am truly sorry for what your family has endured and continues to endure, at the hands of this evil human being. I wish your family and Ryan had gotten the justice you deserved, God Bless you all..
EVil is an under statement . My thoughts are with you and your family. I find myself talking as if I had known your family. I hope one day you and your family find peace. I have followed your family for quite sometime. I myself am a little sister. My older sister is recovering from domestic abuse. ( she was shot 3 times)My stomach is still being punched on a daily basis. I can put myself in your place to an extent.. as I follow I to relate and replay “that night” as if it is on repete. You help me cope ….Thank you!!
Dale Shand via Facebook says
More proof, men are stupid and testosterone is often deadly
Ann H tearle says
Oh, Dear Kari, so poignant and from your heart. I love you and Ryan and your family and pray everyday for you all. I am so very sorry this happened to Ryan and all of you. There are really just no words to convey my heartfelt wishes throughout this whole thing since that fateful day. SHSP NGA. God bless you and give you strength to do what you must do each and every day. Ryan knows your love, regardless. My thoughts and prayers are with you all forever. Love, Annie
Mary Harper Moctezuma via Facebook says
Ahhh. I can’t even imagine. This was beautiful written and expressed. You and your family are amazing.
Lori Langpaul Beebe via Facebook says
You are amazing Kari Diviney and Ryan would be so proud of you. Love to you all every day.
Some one should kick the shit out of the scum that did this. Karma will give him back the pains that he has inflicted on this innocent family.
Leslie Miller via Facebook says
Kari has grown into a strong young woman. Ryan would be so proud of his little sister. Your family is forever in my prayers.
Carla Liberty says
Kari, your writing is every bit as raw and gripping as your dad’s. And it is beautiful. The emotional toll this has taken on you and your family is exhausting. We – as your friends and supporters – will pray you through this. We love you and will continue to make this journey with you. Bless you!
PK Miller says
Kari, that was so eloquent and powerful. I’m sorry the Parole Board did not listen. It, obviously, was a foregone conclusion. Naughty boy. Don’t do it again, we’ll have to slap the other wrist. I meant what I told your dad, Kari. If these young men had been convicted of 5th degree possession of controlled substance, or God forbid, they had raped your brother, they would have been sent away for life. Of course, if they had been African-American or Hispanic, they would’ve been sent away for years.
We had a case last year where a young man in his early 20s driving drunk & stoned, killed 2 young people, critically injured 2 others. He got 5 years. The DA claimed he had no part of the young man’s plea bargain. This is a DA who is a moral crusader against “sex crimes.” The young man was utterly remorseless & clueless. He had the best legal representation mommy & daddy’s money could buy. He will be out in 3+ years, having learned nothing.
Thus it is with these thugs. They will have learned nothing. They have no consciences. They are evil. And there, alas, is evil in this world. It’s as old as human history. We have to have faith that, in the end, in the enxt world, God WILL render HIS justice from which there is no escape, no parole. Ryan will be restored to wholeness, and you all will be reunited in that place where there is NO pain. I’m sorry you have to wait for that. I’m sorry Ryan and you and your parents have been put through such an unspeakable hell. I don’t understand why bad things happen to good people. Is there some “lesson,” in this? I don’t know.
You all continue to be in my prayers. We didn’t have a Prayer Table this week. Deacon Sue was away and we have difficulty in summer trying to maintain coverage. The Dean & his wife are on a well-deserved vacation. Canon Hunter does outreach at the Interfaith Partnership, Wednesday. When we have it, be assured, I will add Ryan & your family to the prayer list.
BTW, I keep wanting to mention this to your dad. I hope you have connected w/the local Brain Injury Association. They can provide enormous resources. Someone from the local Brain Injury Association spoke to our Neighborhood Association several months ago, My husband, who usually tunes out this sort of thing–has little use for “do-gooders.” but he was most attentive. (He’s not as cynical as he seems. After 34 1/2 year I know!)
I had problems w/the video of the newscast. We have problems w/video on our PC. My oldest grandniece, our resident computer guru–a whiz along w/her fiancé–cant get it to work right. (She adores her great uncles & is always eager to visit!). I will try at the Library.
God be with and care for you all.
PK & Tim
Hannah Davenport via Facebook says
Wow, so powerful and well written, Kari. Ryan is lucky to have you for his sister. Keep the faith.
Nicole Lemal says
This absolutely breaks my heart. I am so sorry the system failed you. His release so soon from jail for “good behavior” is a disgrace and an insult to all of you, the people who must suffer with the aftermath of this act of violence forever all over something so mundane. Austin’s actions are not normal and are stemmed from a more evil, sadistic way of thinking. You deserved so much more individually and as a family. I don’t know you well, but I do know the impact you made on so many others, including myself. Your courage and unconditional love toward each other during this whole ordeal is so touching and beautiful. My prayers and thoughts are with you always.
Betty Murray Conner via Facebook says
God continues to give this family strength!
I hope that heaven is real and that this time on earth was only a blink of an eye in comparison to the eternity that you will spend with Ryan, smiling and laughing. HE WOULD BE SO PROUD OF YOU!!!
Leslie Ryan Stasny via Facebook says
She’s such an amazing young lady
Joanna Drechsler via Facebook says
Jaimi Dean Franus via Facebook says
Amazing, Kari. What a sincere privilege it is to know you and your family and to have souls like yours in this world.
Mar Fitterer Crowe via Facebook says
I’m so sad your family was put in this position.
May Gods love surround you always especially during the darkest days. Lifting your family up!
Doreen M. Burke via Facebook says
I’m so sorry that Austin Vantrease is going to be released. Your victim impact statement is so well stated. Not only are you Ryan’s voice, but the voice of all victims who can’t speak for themselves. You and your family are so strong and brave.
I’m so sorry your lives were forever changed that day. I’ve followed your story for a year. Austin Vantrease is pure evil because no human being would ever inflict such a malicious act upon someone and show no remorse. He doesn’t deserve to partake in society. He didn’t act like a young and foolish kid, but rather a predator just waiting for an opportunity to showcase his brutality. I can only hope that karma comes for him with the same vegeance….
My prayers are with your family. Your family is truly amazing.
Patti McComb says
Kari – Ryan would be so proud of you for that powerful statement you made on his behalf. Ido not even know you and I am proud of you!
Austin will screw up again, I give that monster 6 months before he gets in trouble again. Hopefully he will not hurt anyone else, but he will screw up and be put back in prison. He should be caged like a vicious animal!
You and your family are probably the most inspiring people in the world.
Stay Strong Diviney Family, we all love you!
I’m so sorry that Austin Vantrease is going to be released. Your victim impact statement you read is so well stated, not only are you Ryan’s voice, but the voice of all victims who can’t speak for themselves. You and your family are so strong and brave.
I’m so sorry your lives were forever changed that day. I’ve followed your story for a year. Austin Vantrease is pure evil because no human being would ever inflict such a malicious act upon someone and show no remorse. He doesn’t deserve to partake in society nor can someone like that be rehabilitated. He didn’t act like a young and foolish kid, but rather a predator just waiting for an opportunity to showcase his brutality. I can only hope that karma comes for him with the same vegeance….
My prayers are with your family. Your family is truly amazing.
Jennifer Jones Sedwick via Facebook says
Very powerful and so eloquently written. I can only imagine that the Parole Board took your words to heart when they made their decision–because it seems that they chose the better (and I hate to use the word better) of two horrible options. The justice system failed Ryan and your family when [refuse to use his name] was sentenced to only 10 years. I am so sorry the scum was granted parole but seeing as how automatic parole was inevitable–at least this way he will be monitored and hopefully will NEVER harm another human being again.
Sara Saldaña Graddy via Facebook says
Kari, I am so sorry you, your parents and Ryan have had to endure such horrible pain. I will never understand how this monster and his family have no remorse! I just don’t get it!! KARMA is very ugly, and it is in their future!!! Kari, never lose your faith in God, your miracle might be around the corner!
Erin Gene via Facebook says
Beautifully said. Thank you for sharing. Brought tears to my eyes.
Susan Newberry says
Kari-What a brave and amazing daughter and sister you are. And I think Ryan knows this!! You are a wonderful role model! No one could have said what you communicated more eloquently! So sorry for the loss of Your Big Bro Ryan!
Allison Hornung Weitzel via Facebook says
Well done. My 2 year old saw me reading this and be said “mommy you sad?” Even babies have a sense when something is wrong.
Denise DiGiacomo-Grieco via Facebook says
Shelby Oerman Brown says
Kari, you are so strong and amazing! I’m sure Ryan is so proud of you!
Brittany Hutchison Stewart via Facebook says
That was very powerful! I’m sorry the board wasn’t listening to your words and feelings but scum like Austin always find themselves back in the system one way or another.
Gail Doyle via Facebook says
Said from the bottom of your heart and soul, Kari. Powerful and so sad. Love and strength to all <3
Kathy Diviney via Facebook says
Such eloquent words that truly convey your love for Ryan. Absolutely beautiful.
Wow. This is so powerful. This is so well said and from the heart. I want to know, did the vantrease family have a chance to say anything. I would like to know what they could even fathom saying back to that?
Kathy Diviney Wilkinson says
It absolutely makes me sick that Austin Vantrease was granted parole. I fear for the safety of anyone that crosses his path that has a different opinion than this animal. This is just heartbreaking on every level.
Susanne Young via Facebook says
Eloquent words…. Thoughts and prayers for your entire family.
Sury Gonzalez via Facebook says
Heartbreaking. … god bless this family..
Kelly Thorpe via Facebook says
Beautifully said Kari.
Rachael Belk says
What an absolute waste of a life. Austin Vantrease should never be paroled and if he is when the heartbreaking death of Ryan does happen Austin Vantrease should be tried for his murder. Kari im sure your brother would have been very proud of you standing up for him. x
Autum Marie via Facebook says
Powerful and so emotionally sad 🙁
Daniell Diserio via Facebook says
Bravo Kari, obviously the parole board wasn’t listening to such powerful and compelling words. They have failed Ryan, but be proud that you and your parents never will. Prayers for you all….
Very eloquent. I am so sorry she had to be in the situation to have to write it. I am sure it made a huge impact… unfortunately, criminals today do not have to really pay for their crimes. I know good has come out of this situation, and Ryan, along with his family, has made their own impact on the lives of others for good. What others meant for evil, the Lord has used for good, as painful, and horrific as it all is… there is no denying that YOUR lives have changed the lives of others… You will never know the breath and depth and height of the impact on lives but it is far, far greater than you can imagine. Does that change your situation? NO, but at the very least, evil has not won… because you, as a family. have thwarted evil with love and that makes all the difference… march on, soldier on, carry on, because Ryan’s life is significant, as well as yours… each day, you make a difference… each day you impact people’s lives in the right way… always praying
June Williges Bradford via Facebook says
William Adams via Facebook says
Paul Rapsawich via Facebook says
Kari Diviney…such a powerful statement, and yet they still granted that scum parole. My heart aches for not only Ryan, but for you and your parents as well. I’m sure I’m not the only one that has come to consider you guys family throughout this ordeal and we will continue to send prayers, strength and love your way while Ryan battles. That support will never stop. Guaranteed.
Ann H Tearle says
well said Paul, I could not have expressed it better.
How was this guy able to receive parole???There are criminals in our system serving more time for far less than this. Just makes so sense…no sense at all….To you Kari and your family my heart aches….My prayers are being said for you all….God Bless.
Rhonda Morin says
No money to keep them in prison, if he was a good boy in prison he gets out early, it’s the way the system works. Sucks.