Last week was a busy week, for sure. Most will remember it mostly because of the Austin Vantrease parole hearing that took place at the St. Mary’s prison in West Virginia. Specifically, the powerful Victim Impact Statement given by my daughter, Kari, that has reached more than 120,000 readers over the weekend.
Beyond this, I have some more information on Austin Vantrease that surfaced in the parole hearing. I’ll be sharing this in a future post. For now, just know that he is released to his family’s custody (in his hometown of Newark, Delaware) and I’ll just leave it with this teaser… sex, drugs, and shoes.
Austin Vantrease, criminally convicted of felonious Malicious Assault, was paroled on July 14, 2014. He was at the St. Mary’s Correctional Center; for the incarceration of “felons who have been convicted of severe crimes against man…”
What most don’t know is on the day after the parole hearing, Thursday, Ryan had the staples and sutures removed from his skull. These were put in place as a result of his latest surgery in late June, where the titanium mesh skull plate was removed because it was failing (the scalp was deteriorating).
Ryan will remain without this part of his skull through the summer to allow for his scalp to heal and thicken.
In early September he will be taken back in for surgery to replace this void with a new prosthetic skull plate. This one will be quite different from the titanium. It is a biomedical polymer (i.e., common types of plastic polymer laminates used in prosthetics are acrylic, epoxy and polyester) designed specifically for his skull structure, based upon his CT scans from the last hospitalization.
This summer has, and will continue to be, nerve-wracking… with his brain so vulnerable. I simply can’t wait to get it behind us. Funny how I’m actually looking forward to Ryan undergoing yet another surgery, followed by several days in the ICU and his head being stapled once again.
It’s a regular riot, Norton!
Karyn Mandracchia Ahern via Facebook says
Beautifully written as I read Kari’s words my heart just broke for all of you all over again. I just still can’t believe how this Jerk’s parole was granted. Karma is a bitch. Love you all and thinking and praying for you all daily <3 <3 <3 <3
Cindy Fox Fairchild via Facebook says
Prayers for you always
I am sickened by the knowledge Austin is free and yet every single day your family lives with the reality of his brutality. I think he should be locked behind bars every single day that Ryan remains locked in the nightmare if TBI!
We will nor stop praying for the Divney family!!
Kim McLeod via Facebook says
Continued prayers for the Diviney family!
Kara DiMeglio Gee via Facebook says
debra Johnston says
I await the day Ryan goes back to surgery, wow, I am nervous about his head not being protected fully, as soon as you can please let us know date. Tell my piece of Sunshine, to rest comfortably. Sending prayers as always and a group hug to all 😉
No one is happy that Austin Van Trease was released on parole as of yesterday. But now it’s on the courts –if Austin violates his parole in any way, back to prison he goes. And believe me, plenty of people are watching!! Do people who appear not to be sorry for the horrible things they have done ever feel remorse? I wonder exactly how long he’ll be under “supervision.” Not long enough I’m sure.
Kari’s victim impact statement said all there was to say. I hope Team Diviney continues to share Kari’s words so that as many people as possible can read them. For that matter, I think Kari should send her statement to every news organization around.
People don’t think about the heartache of others unless it is put directly before them. A lot of people don’t go on FB, but some do go online to read news articles. I hope Kari goes to every victim’s group there is online and posts her victim impact statement. Get as many people as possible to know what Austin VanTrease did to Ryan and your family.
Random acts of extreme violence have been increasing in our country. Some say it was always thus; I disagree. When I was growing up there weren’t yearly shooting sprees in schools and colleges. They happened on a rare occasion. And there were fights, but not many of the kind where someone kicks you over and over in the head because of a disagreement about sports.
The kind of horrific attack Austin VanTrease and Jonathon May inflicted upon Ryan seems to be showing up in the news more and more. The public at large may feel they are immune to it – the old “it’ll never happen to me or my family.”
Think again. There’s an arrogance and striking lack of concern for others that appears to have been born from parents overindulging their kids while simultaneously not inculcating values within them. The “I can do whatever I want because I come first. I know I’m the best because Mommy and Daddy tell me this. I can do no wrong, even if the law/society/victims say I do!! And who cares anyway? The only thing that matters is how I feel.”
It’s wise for all of us to get involved in victim’s rights. It’s prudent to speak up when victims are left holding the bag of crap that sociopaths have left them with.
Nothing changes without people speaking up. And consider this — if you believe that what goes around, comes around, it’s a good life approach to care about the plight of others and stand up on their behalf.
You never know when it will be you or someone you love who will need “justice.” As you have seen, it does not come easily and to many victims such as Ryan it does not come at all. At least Ryan has many people who love and care about him. Thank God for Team Diviney.
Sending you love, hugs, prayers, faith and hope, Ken.
Sue Bennett Markley via Facebook says
Hope Ryan continues to thrive with the procedures that are being done to protect his injured head. He’s a STRONG guy, isn’t he? Praying every day for his health to remain good and for no crazy infections to rear their ugly head. You’re all in my prayers.
Catherine Brown via Facebook says
keeping your family in my prayers…though my son in law wasn’t beat on but suffered a traumatic brain injury in a horrific head on collision 7 years ago, which he was not at fault…my heart goes out to your family
Ann H Tearle via Facebook says
Prayers continue for you all. I am so very sorry for all of this. Just take it from one breath to the next…..and just hang in there. You just never know when Ryan might respond. SHSP NGA. Lots of love, Annie
Angela Cavender via Facebook says
Continued prayers for Ryan and your family
Gail doyle says
So glad Ryan’s wound is healing nicely and wish 2nd surgery to be over!! Sorry for all your family’s suffering ..Its unimaginable. Just remember, always here, always praying for you all and NGA
Dina Ayala via Facebook says
Wow I can’t believe they released him :-(. I’m glad Ryan is doing better.
Michelle Rimmer says
As I am sure that the very last person the Diviney family would ever want to face would be AV, the only way I would EVER believe that AV was truly, TRULY sorry for his actions would be to spend EVERY day of his life as a care taker for Ryan….again, I know that is the last thing the Diviney family would want, so let it be another patient……with HIM coming up with this idea, HIM approaching the family….that’s the only way I would EVER believe he was TRULY sorry for what he has done….just my humble opinion. God Bless Ryan and his entire family <3 <3 <3
Carla Liberty says
What you have endured is beyond comprehension. We continue to lift you in prayer.
Carla & family
Rhonda Morin says
“it’s a regular riot” I feel you might have wanted to add another word in there, I would. Clusterf#(@ comes to mind too. Thinking of you all. Can’t wait to hear about sex, drugs and shoes. I have a horrible feeling his family hired a *person* for him upon his release. I feel so bad for that human.
PK Miller says
We are so sorry for all your pain. I’m sorry that all of you have to go through this. I’m glad that at least you will be kept aware of this thug’s whereabouts. I just continue to be struck by the unfairness of the system. I’ve told you, we’ve had 2 local cases of nice middle class white boys being convicted of DUI, vehicular manslaughter, etc. slapped on the wrist, told they were naughty boys. Both will be out of prison long ebfore theyre 30, with their lives ahead of them. One DA is famous/notorious for pursuing “sex offenders.” Yet, he seemed to be out of the loop with these cases. (I don’t care what color someone is. I’m a badly aging white Gay man. I don’t care if youre a “left handed, transgender Bulgarian hermaphrodite” to borrow a line from the wacky commercials of an area employment agency. A local African American attorney, spoke eloquently at Underground Railroad’s annual 4th of July program, of racial disparities in arrests, let alone convictions.)
I pray the summer goes quickly for you and Ryan will get that5 plate and that will be an end to surgeries, hospitalizations, etc. That all has to take a great toll on you & your family. You continue to be in my prayers. If we have our Prayer Table tomorrow, and it isn’t washed away, I will of course, add Ryan & you. (We’re experiencing a monsoon season–torrential rains, severe tstorms till tomorrow noon. My niece said they could swim in their front lawn never mind the pool!) Between the weather, people’s vacations + Deacon Sue overextended at work, it’s been a challenge to keep the Prayer Table going.)
Know that Ryan feels your love. The human brain is an amazing thing. My mom was comatose for 2 days before she died, yet we know she understood her family was there, God bless.
PK & Tim
Kristina Marie via Facebook says
glad he seems to be healing well and staples are out. I hear you on wanting next surgery just over and done with. Can’t even begin to imagine what you’re gonna tell us in your “stay tuned” post.
Christine Parks via Facebook says
Prayers. And peace for you and your family. I’m so sorry for the heartache and horrible times you have suffered. You all are so strong.
Patti Shelton McComb via Facebook says
thinking of you all. i’ve said it before, i just can not imagine what you go through on a daily basis. you are undoubtly the best dad ever. Austin Vantrease will screw up again Ken.. i give him 6 months tops and he will be back in prison.right where scum belongs! give Ryan a big hug from all of us out here following your story. we love you all
Ryan’s wound looks good and …. that was a lot of staples to be removed!
Can’t wait to hear about “sex, drugs and shoes” ….sounds like a book title.
Has Austin been released already? It sounds like it from your post…. Do they keep you posted about his release and possible future parole violations?
Ryan's Rally LLC says
Yes, he was released yesterday. I will continue to be notified about his status while he’s on parole.
Kari’s Victim Impact Statement has me in tears. I don’t know you, but I pray for you all daily. As a mother with 2 sons in their 20’s, I also relate to your anguish, and suffer alongside you. I don’t want to invite more pain by asking the question, but I simply don’t understand the reasoning supporting this parole. I know you can’t possibly understand it either. I would imagine parole is for those who can be rehabilitated, but I question how anyone who commits a crime of such malice without remorse can be rehabilitated. So much doesn’t make sense. You all have been sentenced to suffering greater than anything I can imagine, yet the person responsible for it does not have to endure the same fate. I’m having difficulty trying to comprehend what facts the courts used to support their decision, because this doesn’t seem like justice to me.
Ryan's Rally LLC says
My feeling is the Board wanted to maintain control over him for as long as possible.
Pat Dyer says
That’s the positive we have to find in his parole – is that they will maintain control over him. It’s probably very wrong of me to say, but I suspect he will commit yet another crime and be back in prison very soon.
Zack Compton via Facebook says
i am deeply saddened for your situation, i just read his little sisters statement and i am absolutely heartbroken, love and prayers to you guys
Christine Sorrentino Heffernan via Facebook says
This is SO hard to comprehend. I read Kari’s statement and instantly felt sick. She articulated beautifully the living hell Ryan and his family are trapped in. I simply can not understand how parole was granted and I certainly can not grasp the lack of remorse from Austin and his family. Please God, grant them peace and someday the strength to move past this and dare I say it “forgive” as they will be otherwise held hostage by this nightmare. Your family defines pure love. Our prayers continue for you all.