A former Riverdale actor who admitted to killing his mother in an effort to spare her from having to witness his plot to assassinate Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been sentenced to life in prison.
Ryan Grantham, 24, will not be able to appeal for parole for 14 years after pleading guilty to a second-degree murder charge for fatally shooting his 64-year-old mother, Barbara Waite, while she played piano back in March 2020.
He then proceeded to drive to Trudeau’s residence with three guns, ammunition and 12 Molotov cocktails in his car, before deciding to turn himself in to authorities.
Under Canadian law, a second-degree murder charge automatically comes with a life sentence — and the only thing his lawyers could dispute was how long he would have to serve before he could be granted parole.
They argued back in June that Grantham should be eligible for parole after 12 years as he admitted his guilt and expressed sorrow for his actions, while the federal government argued he should have to serve 17 to 18 years before becoming eligible.
But on Wednesday, CBC reports, British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Kathleen Ker ruled that he will only have to serve 14 years as she considered the actor’s downward spiral in the months leading up to the murder a mitigating factor.
She noted that Grantham seemed truly remorseful in his apology, and was seeking psychiatric help in prison, where he was receiving positive reviews about his behavior and progress.
Ker also called it a ‘saving grace’ that Grantham had enough attachment to reality and comprehension to decide not to commit mass murder or assassinate the prime minister.
Ryan Grantham, 24, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 14 years
He had pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder charge for killing his mother, 64-year-old Barbara Waite (pictured), while she played piano on March 31, 2020
Prosecutors revealed in June that after Grantham shot Waite in the back of the head as she payed piano on March 31, 2020, he recorded video on a GoPro in which he confessed to the killing and showed off his mother’s lifeless body.
‘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.’
The actor then bought beer and weed, experimented with making Molotov cocktails and watched Netflix before covering his mother’s body with a sheet and going to bed.
The next morning, Grantham told authorities, he hung a rosary on Waite’s piano and arranged lit candles around her body, before loading his car with three guns, ammunition, a dozen Molotov cocktails, camping gear and directions to Trudeau’s Rideau Cottage in Ottawa.
He had planned to travel more than 50 hours to kill Trudeau, before changing his mind and considering committing ‘an act of mass violence,’ at Simon Fraser University, which he had dropped out from.
He turned himself to Vancouver police before harming anybody else and pleaded guilty in March to second-degree murder.
Authorities say he shot and killed Waite in an effort ‘to save her’ from seeing his assassination plot against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured on Thursday
Prosecutors had called the murder a ‘breach of trust,’ noting that Barbara (pictured right) loved and trusted her son
The Riverdale actor who killed his mom and attempted to assassinate Justin Trudeau
Ryan Grantham is a Canadian actor from Squamish, British Columbia.
He began his acting career at the age of 9, starting off with minor roles before appearing in The Secret of The Nutcracker.
One of his larger roles as a child was in an episode of Supernatural, where he gains super strength and starts attacking his bullies.
He then went on to have roles in the films Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
Grantham also had roles as a teenager in the CW’s IZombie, before getting the role of a lifetime as a character in Riverdale.
He admitted to killing his mother on March 31, 2020, with prosecutors saying he wanted to save her from witnessing his attempt to assassinate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Prosecutors said in the aftermath that Grantham fatally shot his mom ‘to save her’ from seeing his assassination plot against the Canadian prime minister unfold.
They presented two psychiatric evaluations that concluded Grantham committed the crime to spare her mother from witnessing further acts of violence he planned on committing.
The evaluations concluded that Grantham exhibited cannabis use disorder, depression, self-hatred, and suicidal and homicidal tendencies months before the killing.
Prosecutors pointed to one March journal entry in which Grantham wrote: ‘I’m so sorry mom, I’m so sorry Lisa … I hate myself.
‘There’s a lot of media of me out there … film and TV … hundreds of hours of me that can be viewed and dissected… No one will understand.’
‘Mr. Grantham was seeking to save his mother from something he was going to do,’ prosecutor Michaela Donnelly said during the sentencing hearing in June.
She described the murder as a ‘heartbreaking breach of trust.’
‘Barbara Waite loved her son very much, was an excellent parent and in her mind had no reason to fear him,’ she said.
Donnelly added that Grantham had many opportunities to change his mind.
He apparently loaded and unloaded his gun multiple times on the day of the murder, and sat on his townhouse steps for close to 15 minutes considering what to do — before ultimately turning back and shooting his mother.
According to CBC, Grantham reportedly feared that Waite would find out he had stopped attending classes at Simon Fraser University and was abusing marijuana.
Grantham is most known for playing Jeffery Augustine in Riverdale. His character was written into the show as the hit-and-run killer of Luke Perry’s character, after Perry died of a stroke
He has also had roles on the television show Supernatural (pictured)
Waite’s body was found on April 1, 2020, by her daughter Lisa, who arrived at the after Waite failed to answer her calls and texts.
‘How can I trust anybody when my only sibling chose to execute my mom when her back was turned,’ Lisa Grantham said in court.
But Grantham expressed his sorrow in court back in June.
‘I cannot explain or justify my actions. I have no excuse,’ he said at the time.
‘It hurts me to think about how badly I’ve wasted my life.
‘In the face of something so horrible, saying sorry seems so pointless,’ he added. ‘But from every fiber of my being, I am sorry.’
Grantham is most known for playing Jeffery Augustine in Riverdale. His character was written into the show as the hit-and-run killer of Luke Perry’s character, after Perry died of a stroke.
He has also had roles on the television show Supernatural, as well as in the films Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.