MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- More than 28,000 people have signed an online petition urging authorities to deny parole for a man who beat a West Virginia University student into a permanent vegetative state three years ago.West Virginia University sophomore Ryan Diviney was punched and kicked in the head on Nov. 7, 2009, during an argument about the World Series. He's now 23.His father Ken and sister Kari started the petition Oct. 6 and had 10,000 signatures in 24 hours. By Monday, it was nearing 30,000.
Twenty-one-year-old Austin Vantrease is serving two to 10 years for malicious assault for kicking Diviney. A co-defendant who punched Diviney was convicted of misdemeanor battery and served jail time.
The Dominion Post says Vantrease was denied parole in August but will be eligible again next summer.