Vantrease Files Motion of Intent to Appeal

Publication:The Dominion Post; Date:Dec 29, 2010; Section:Local; Page Number:5-B

Diviney attacker to appeal

Austin Isaac Vantrease seeks new trial

BY BRANDY BRUBAKER The Dominion Post

One of the men convicted of the attack on then-WVU sophomore Ryan Diviney plans to appeal.


Austin Isaac Vantrease filed a notice of intent to appeal in Monongalia County Circuit Court recently.
Vantrease filed the motion pro se (without a lawyer), but has since received a court-appointed attorney, court officials said Tuesday. That attorney, Lance Rollo, will replace Vantrease’s previously hired attorney, Jim Zimarowski. Rollo said that he was newly appointed and didn’t have a comment at this time.
Vantrease,19,of Newark,Del.,was convicted of malicious assault for kicking Diviney in the head near the Willey Street Dairy Mart on Nov. 7, 2009. Judge Russell Clawges sentenced him to two to 10 years in prison — the maximum sentence allowed by law — last month. Vantrease is now serving that sentence at North Central Regional Jail.
His co-defendant, Jonathon May, 19, also of Newark, was convicted of misdemeanor battery and is serving a one-year jail sentence.

Prosecutors said May punched Diviney in the head after an argument about the World Series. Diviney fell to the ground and struck his head and was then kicked in the head by Vantrease, prosecutors said. Either injury or both injuries could have caused the traumatic brain damage Diviney suffered, a doctor testified.

Diviney, 21, remains in a vegetative state and is currently being cared for at a Virginia hospital where he was admitted last week for pneumonia, according to his family.

May’s attorney, Ray Yackel, said May isn’t planning an appeal or a request for a shorter sentence.

“He feels the sentence he received from Judge Clawges is fair and he feels he needs to serve his time,” Yackel said.

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16 Responses to Vantrease Files Motion of Intent to Appeal

  1. alecia says:

    Is there anyway you can post the article? It says to read it online you’d have to subscribe to the paper.

  2. alecia says:

    Thank you for posting. This intent to appeal proves this idiot has no remorse for his actions. At least the other guy took some form of responsibility for what he did, even though I think he got off quite easy too.

  3. Paula says:

    Okay, here’s a shout out to the community at large — if you’ve been following Ryan’s case, and even if you haven’t, here’s an opportunity for you to help ensure that justice is served. Vantrease & clan, there are hundreds of us who are going to fight for justice for Ryan. It’s tragic that the Divineys should have to worry even for a second that something might go awry and Austin could escape the punishment he is due. But I’ll tell you what, we’ll shout it from the mountaintops that we demand justice for Ryan Diviney and his family. You want to file an appeal, that’s your civil (albeit not moral, in my opinion) right — but you’re rattling the cage. And since we don’t believe in violence, we’ll use our minds, hearts and the power of prayer, words and the pen to fight for Ryan. It won’t be a sweet and tender affair, either, because if we need to, we’ll break it down detail by ugly detail!!

  4. Cass says:

    I am thrilled to see that May is not planning to appeal. There may be hope for him yet. What he did was horrific, and Ryan this very second is paying for May’s hideous crime, but hopefully he (May) is horrified by his own actions. Coming to the realization of what he has done, even a small piece of it, will give him a chance to make it right, somehow, some way. You never know how God can work in a person’s life.

    Vantrease? That whole family is so laden with evil at this point that I am thankful that I believe in a God who will keep that poison away from the Divineys. Vengeance is the Lord’s; I have every confidence that if my God can create the universe and everything that is in it, that He can and will make sure that the entire Vantrease family will pay for what they did. He is a loving, merciful God, always ready to forgive those of us who come to a place of repentance. He is also a powerful, just God who will not tolerate his children being mistreated… that would be Ryan in this case (Ryan’s whole family, for that matter). I would not want to be on the other end of the wrath of God. Vantrease can appeal all he wants. Defending what he’s done puts him in a very dangerous place before God.

  5. I am sorry this is one more thing to distract the Diviney family. I am with you Paula. Any thing we can do to make sure justice is served, please let us know. If we can write letters, let us know who to direct them to.

  6. Cheryl Onderchain says:

    It looks like letter writing campaign round two may be in order.

    • alecia says:

      Being a social worker in PA, there’s nothing more i’d love to do then to advocate! Justice was served, it will continue to be served! Please let us know how we could write a letter to help.

  7. Jo Hobbs says:

    This appeal is a waste of time and money! I wonder whose idea it is, the parents or Vantrease himself. Vantrease must pay for his crime, and in my opinion, it can never be enough. Still here, praying continually and checking in often.

  8. Anna says:

    Of course May will not appeal! I wouldn’t appeal either if I “killed” someone and only got a year in prison. Any reasonable person knows that Jonathan Mays punch causing Ryans hard hit to the ground and metal grate caused alot of the injury that Ryan has, then to top it off and make matters even more worse for Ryan, Austin kicked Ryan in the head, just to be sure he would never get up. They both “killed” the Ryan we knew. The thing in court that couldn’t be proven was, which one of these actions was “THE” event that took Ryans life as he knew it. They both should have been sentenced for the time Ryan is not awake and himself, anything less is a crime in itself. How dare the Vantrease family do this to the Diviney family! As someone said before on a different posted site, even though they have no class or character, dig deep and find some or fake it.
    May has no class either, or he would not have punched Ryan in the first place.
    I know my son would not have punched Ryan, I know alot of folks sons who wouldn’t have punched no matter how drunk they are. They are both where they belong. May got off easy, and Vantrease is trying to taking the easy way out with the help of his sis and parents. It’s time they let him grow up! Get used to driving to West Virginia, you will see each season is more beautiful than the other!

  9. Will says:

    I am sure this guy is scared to death in jail and is looking for a way out. Sorry but there is no way out. What they did was sub-human. For some reason I have been attracted to Ryan after seeing the Today show story. Maybe it is because of the teacher in me; taught high school and college 17 years Oh and I live way North–Upper New York State. Ryan and his family are in constant prayer. If I can help in any way, ask. Letter writing is a powerful tool. God Bless

  10. sally ellis says:

    I’ve got a pen in hand and I’m ready to go.

  11. Nancy Tawney says:

    I am with all of you! I will do whatever I can to help. This Vantrease boy is totally out of line with this appeal. I will continue to pray for Ryan and the Diviney family.

  12. Nancy Tawney says:

    I am with all of you! I will do whatever I can to help. The Diviney family will always be in my heart and prayers.

  13. Michelle Miltz says:

    I am so sorry to hear what happened to your beautiful son. I saw the story on the Today show and I think about Ryan often. I feel so much for the family and am so inspired by your dedication to your son and the love that you have for him. Your deeds will not go in vain as Ryan will take comfort in your loving care. I would like to help the family in any way that I can. I will be thinking and praying for all of you.

  14. Tom Stewart says:

    I had the pleasure of coaching Ryan in baseball when he was 13. I got to know his father quite well also as we coached together. I have fond memories of those days and admired Ryan for what a terrific player he was and, more importantly, what a fine young man he is. He was always a favorite among his teammates and possessed a natural draw to himself that made them laugh and feel good about themselves.

    Just remember that this man, this cowardly man that did this to him will still be a young man when he is freed from the confines of jail whether it be sooner or later. Take solice in the fact that his hell will begin, in earnest, when he gets out. Unable to get a meaningful job, unable to experience true love through his remorseless mind and unable to shake the haunting memories of that fatefull night. We can only hope the next person that crosses his path doesn’t suffer a similar fate as lessons learned don’t seem to be a priority for him or his family.

    The chances of this happening to Ryan were extremely small and I dare say that his chances of emerging from this are better than the chance it happened in the first place. Keep faith that one day he will make us all smile again with that trademark grin. Miracles do happen everyday and Ryan needs one and I anxiously await the day
    it comes. Stay positive and keep faith Diviney family, good things will happen and may God bless you all.

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