A Must Read! Vantrease Coverage

Publication:The Dominion Post; Date:Apr 14, 2011; Section:Local; Page Number:1-B


Attacker wants to leave jail Asks judge to change Diviney sentence BY BRANDY BRUBAKER The Dominion Post

One of the men convicted of the 2009 attack that left WVU student Ryan Diviney comatose is asking a judge to reconsider his sentence.

A jury convicted Austin Vantrease, 19, of Newark, Del., of malicious assault. He was sentenced to two to 10 years in prison and has been in jail since October.

His attorney, Lance Rollo, filed a motion in Monongalia County Circuit Court asking Judge Russell Clawges to reconsider the sentence he levied in November.

A hearing is scheduled for May 16 to consider the motion.

Rollo presents two options in his motion — release Vantrease on probation or transfer him to the Anthony Correctional Center. The center is a rehabilitative program for youthful offenders, which takes six months to two years to complete. If the offender gets kicked out of the program, the judge has the option of making him serve his original sentence. If the offender completes the program, he is released on probation.

“The facility is designed for offenders just like Austin,” Rollo wrote in his motion. “In fact, the offenders currently and previously housed at ACC range from sexual offenders to drug dealers and armed robbers. All of whom are being given the opportunity to benefit from what ACC has to offer. Clearly, Austin is the type of person who would not only benefit from this program but would succeed there, as well.”

Rollo cited a positive report prepared by the center’s diagnostic unit when Vantrease was sent there for a 60-day evaluation to assist the judge in choosing his sentence.

He said Vantrease has only had one incident in the regional jail system since his incarceration in which he was accused of creating a disturbance. He said Vantrease had a 3.2 GPA at the University of Delaware prior to his arrest, volunteered for charities, and has the support of his parents and his sister.

Prosecuting Attorney Marcia Ashdown said in a response to the motion that she opposes a change in Vantrease’s sentence.

“The state’s opposition to the motion is based upon the aggravated nature of the defendant’s conduct that led to the life-altering and, in many ways, life-ending injuries to the victim,” she wrote. Nothing has changed since the judge delivered his sentence, she said.

Vantrease’s co-defendant, Jonathon May, 20, also of Newark, Del., was convicted of misdemeanor battery and is serving a one-year sentence. His attorney, Ray Yackel, previously said May does not intend to challenge his sentence.


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24 Responses to A Must Read! Vantrease Coverage

  1. Will says:

    I guess he wants rehabilitation. He could have had a 4.0 in college but his actions destroyed another person’s life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Not to mention the mental anguish placed on Ryan’s family and friends thus preventing them of their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

  2. Angelique says:

    only one instance that he created a disturbance? What happened to his “model citizen” attitude? What a loser.

  3. Anna says:

    Who cares about a felons GPA or charitable work! Ryan had a 4.0 GPA, had done charitable work and has never been “accused of creating a disturbance”. Ryan has the support of his parents, his sister PLUS over 8,000 followers on his facebook page. Austin took away Ryans potential to live out his dream, now Ryan’s family hopes he can also “succeed in rehabilitative program”.

  4. Paula says:

    Hmm, Austin Vantrease, how destructive was your behavior to Ryan Diviney, his family, relatives, friends and people across the country who were and continue to be horrified by your violent actions– let me count the ways….make sure you have a lot of time and a lot of energy, because it’s going to take me a lot of time and energy to break it all down for you, bit by agonizing bit. You may have gotten away with a lot of things in your life, but this time, the law, and the public are holding you accountable. We are going to do everything within our power to make sure you never destroy another innocent soul’s life again. And I have a suggestion for you — instead of focusing all your energy on how you’re going to make your own life better, why don’t you look for ways to help the Diviney family with the overwhelming financial, physical and emotional agony you have put them through. That’s where all your thoughts, emotions, power and focus should be. Period.

  5. Mary says:

    Is this an April Fool’s joke?

  6. Jenn says:

    What can we do???

  7. Gail Doyle says:

    He should be given a new sentence.alright (25yrs to life) for what he did ,who cares what his grades are or what he’s done in prison His life should be changed like Ryan’s was and hid family ,nothing good to say about them….

    • Paula says:

      I’m with you, Gail!! Two years is nothing for the magnitude of pain AVT has inflicted on Ryan and his family!!

  8. Kathryn Beggs Howlett says:

    and…..does AV’s attorney have any explanation way the court ordered payment has yet to be received by the Diviney’s?

  9. Bryan T says:

    Is the hearing going to be open for the public?

    Shouldn’t our energy be directed towards the Criminal Justice System as well as the press?

    Would it be beneficial communicate with the Judge or procecutor in this case?

  10. Dianne says:

    AVT (sorry, it hurts too much to say his name) should be counting his blessings. He was given the maximum sentence for what he was charged with, but the charges were grossly unfair. He should have been charged with attempted murder. I don’t think that would carry a 2-10 year sentence. Both men (I say that loosely) have an opportunity to live a normal life after they are released from prison. Count your blessings, losers!

  11. Keith says:

    I agree with Everyone else WHO CARES what his GPA was. I guess they think just because he had a good gpa it gives him the right to do what he did? WRONG!!! He needs to stay in jail and put in a cell and the key thrown away! Look what he done to Ryan! This is just upsetting that the lawyer would even want him to go somewhere else or probation. And for Mays 1 yr you must be kidding me. Seems like WV is letting these people that do horrible crimes get away with it. My Oh My ” May God Bless The Diviney Family!”

  12. Jen says:

    Not all, but Many Lawyers have no shame. Ted Bundy also had a good GPA and would we as a society been happy to free him? Austin is not some 13 skinny little kid that TP’d someone’s home. He attempted to murder them! To call him the exact time of person to benefit from this “babysitting” program is just (a word I will keep to myself, so as not to offend). The most laughable is that he has only been charged with one instance of inappropriate behavior (causing a disturbance,) i.e. he is the ideal candidate for consideration.This clearly demonstrates his temper is NOT under control and that he does not play well with others. Go away VanTrease family, we do’nt care about your pampered baby boy~

  13. Mike says:

    This “man” deserves to never see the light of day again.

  14. Nancy Tawney says:

    This is completely ludicrous! I think it just goes to show that avt has no conscience at all. He needs to stay where he is for the full sentence. He didn’t give Ryan a choice. My prayers to Ryan and the family.

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