MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The father of the West Virginia University sophomore who has remained in a coma since being critically injured in a fight in Morgantown in 2009 plans to talk about the emotional toll his son’s injuries have taken on his entire family during a parole hearing Wednesday for one of his attackers.

“Every time the phone rings, it reminds us of the time we got the call from Ruby Memorial Hospital on Ryan’s phone, so there’s terror every time the phone rings,” Ken Diviney said.

“There’s depression, despair, anxiety. I’ve learned to hate and be untrusting and I don’t like it, but I can’t prevent it.”

Austin Vantrease, 23, has served four years of a two to ten year sentence for malicious assault, a felony charge, for kicking Ryan Diviney in the head when he fell on the ground during a fight that started with an argument about the World Series outside of the Willey Street Dairy Mart back in Nov. 2009.

Wednesday will mark Vantrease’s third attempt at parole.

His co-defendant, Jonathan May, reportedly returned to Delaware after serving seven months for battery for his role in the fight. He punched Diviney which caused him to fall. The kick to the head came after that.

More than four years later, Ryan Diviney has never recovered. “He’s progressing, but it’s just very, very slow and the prognosis isn’t good long-term. He recently just went in for a surgery to have his skull plate removed so, right now, he’s without a third of his skull,” his dad said when asked for an update on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

“Physically, he’s in much better shape than when he nearly died there early on. His strength has recovered and he’s maintaining his weight. But, cognitively, the changes are not as noticeable as the physical,” Diviney said. Ryan will likely spend the rest of his life in a coma and can never be left alone.

“I believe that there might be flashes of consciousness or recognition or awareness, but it’s so fleeting that I can’t say with certainty,” Diviney said.

Because of Ryan’s injuries, Diviney said Vantrease should be denied parole again. “I don’t think anybody would find it just for him to be released after just four years for the damage he inflicted,” he said. “It was just a brutal attack.”

Vantrease is serving his time at St. Mary’s Correctional Center in Pleasants County.

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Comments

  • Robert

    Parole should only be considered when we hear Ryan Diviney's opinion on the matter.

  • Rod

    Hope he gets DENIED at his 4th mark too!

  • Mitch

    I've never understood the gutlessness it takes to kick a man when he's lying on the ground, especially when he's already unconcious. It's the ultimate in chickensh*t.

    • They're Trash

      Totally agree! And how about the 2 on 1? What a bunch of thug @ss pansies!! I hope the POS gets denied, again!!!!

  • don in Berkeley

    Listened to the father this morning. This affair is so sad. These two clowns should have to contribute both time and money to the victim's support for as long as he lives.

  • Joe

    This guy is such a piece of crap! What kinda coward kicks a guy in the head while he's down! I hope he gets denied again!

  • Roger

    If I understand it correctly his sentence is 2 to 10 years. Which means as long as he has not had any good behavior time taken away from him, he will be out next year anyways on a discharged sentence.

  • Walt

    No parole. He should serve the entire ten years!!!

    • Roger

      The only way he will server 10 is if he has caused all kinds of trouble while inside the DOC. His sentenced will be discharged next year after serving 5.

  • wvu999

    Some people who kill people get less time.
    I dont understand the justice system.
    2 years doesnt seem like enough but when you see time that others get it just doesnt make sense.

    • Jason412

      +1 to Wvu999

      The guy who shot and killed my friend, then ditched the gun, and tried to flee the state got less time than some pot dealers, and a sentence similar to the guy in this article.

    • Roger

      And it wasn't, at his 2 year mark he came up for parole and was denied, as well as his 3 year mark.