Former Riverdale actor Ryan Grantham has been sentenced to life behind bars without the possibility of parole for 14 years for the 2020 killing of his mother. Grantham, who is also known for his role in Diary of a Wimpy Kid, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in March 2020 for killing his mother, Barbara Waite.
While pleading guilty to the murder, he said that he killed Waite in an effort to spare her from learning about his plot to assassinate Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada. The 24-year-old actor was handed a life sentence in the British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver on Wednesday.
Paying for His Deeds
According to Canada's CBC report, Grantham will not be eligible for parole for 14 years. Grantham's sentencing didn't come as a surprise but what everyone waited for was how long could he not appeal for parole.
In March 2020, Grantham was arrested after he fatally shot his 64-year-old mother, Barbara Waite, while she was playing piano in the family's Squamish home, just north of Vancouver. He then decided to turn himself in to authorities after driving to Trudeau's house with three firearms, ammo, and 12 Molotov cocktails in his car.
Under Canadian law, a second-degree murder charge automatically imposes a life sentence. So, the only point on which his lawyers could disagree was the length of time he would have to serve before becoming eligible for parole.
Back in June, his lawyers argued that because Grantham had acknowledged his guilt and exhibited remorse, he should be eligible for parole after serving 12 years. The federal government countered that he should serve 17 to 18 years.
However, according to CBC, British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Kathleen Ker decided on Wednesday that the actor should only serve 14 years because of his downward spiral in the months prior to the murder.
She noted that Grantham was sincere in his apology and was pursuing mental health treatment in prison, where staff members were complimentary of his demeanor and development.
Mental Health Issues
As Waite played the piano on March 31, 2020, Grantham shot her in the back of the head. He then confessed to the murder and displayed his mother's dead body in a video that was presented by the prosecution in June.
"I shot her in the back of the head," he reportedly said on the tape. "In the moments after, she would have known it was me."
Grantham then experimented with constructing Molotov cocktails, bought alcohol and marijuana, watched Netflix, and then covered his mother's body with a sheet before going to bed.
The following morning, according to Grantham, he loaded his car with three weapons, ammo, a dozen Molotov cocktails, camping equipment, and directions to Trudeau's Rideau Cottage in Ottawa before hanging a rosary on Waite's piano and placing lighted candles around her body.
Grantham had planned to travel more than 50 hours to assassinate Trudeau before changing his mind and considering conducting "an act of mass murder" at Simon Fraser University, where he had dropped out from.
However, before hurting anyone else, he reported himself to the Vancouver police, and in March he admitted to second-degree murder.
Grantham has been in custody for the past 2.5 years after being initially charged with first-degree murder, law enforcement officials in Vancouver told Deadline today. Grantham has been participating in a mental health program since his incarceration, and according to insiders, he is currently being prepared for transfer to a more permanent facility.
Starting his career in 2007, Grantham also made appearances in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Supernatural, iZombie, and the 2010 film Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
Grantham, who has about 30 credits to his name, is best known for his 2019 role as Jeffrey Augustine in the CW soap opera Riverdale. Despite making only one brief appearance, the character was crucial to the Archie comics-based sitcom.
Jeffrey Augustine was the one who killed the late Luke Perry, who played Fred Andrews on the show in a hit-and-run that altered practically everything on the show.