Actor Ryan Grantham has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to the second-degree murder of his mother, Barbara Waite, in 2020.
The 24-year-old actor, who was sentenced in Vancouver this week, is ineligible for 14 years of parole, according to CBC. In the Canadian court system, second-degree murder carries an automatic sentence of life imprisonment.
The court learned at a hearing in June that Grantham shot his 64-year-old mother in the back of the head while she was playing the piano on March 31, 2020. In a video recorded by the “Riverdale” actor, he confessed to the murder and showed his mother’s body.
The day after the murder, he loaded his car with three guns, ammunition, 12 Molotov cocktails and camping supplies in an attempt to kill Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Instead, he decided to turn himself in to the Vancouver Police Department.
Presiding Judge Kathleen Ker called it a “saving grace” that Grantham chose not to go on his killing spree.
Psychiatric reports submitted to the court also showed that the ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ actor expressed a desire to kill himself, along with feelings of self-loathing and guilt following the murder.
According to CBC, the court found that Grantham had battled depression in the months leading up to the murder and killed his mother to keep her from seeing the violence he planned.
“I can neither explain nor justify my actions. I have no excuse,” Grantham said on the final day of his sentencing hearing in June. “It hurts me to think how much I’ve wasted my life. … In the face of something so terrible, it seems so pointless to apologize. But I’m sorry from every fiber of my being.”
Per Complex, Grantham’s sister, Lisa Grantham, found her mother’s body on April 1, 2020 and testified that her brother was a “dangerous person” and that she feared his release from prison.
The actor’s sister claimed her life and career were ruined by the murder and that her mother, who was suffering from cancer at the time of her death, was her best friend.
“It breaks my heart that she fought so hard … only to have her own son murdered,” she told the court. “She was vulnerable and Ryan didn’t give her a chance to defend herself. It pains me to know that he was a danger to her life.”
Grantham’s attorney, Chris Johnson, told CTV News that his client was not surprised by the conviction.
“I think he anticipated what the judge gave him as a verdict,” Johnson said. “I think he’s pretty worried about the whole thing. He’s quite a small person and I’m sure it’s a daunting and scary thought for him to go into the prison system.”
Judge Ker also commented on Grantham’s “small” size and recommended that he not be sent to a maximum security prison.
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2022-09-23/ryan-grantham-life-in-prison-murder-mother Actor Ryan Grantham gets life in prison for killing his mother