Netflix Ryan Grantham in an episode of Riverdale
Actor Ryan Grantham was sentenced to life in prison for shooting his mother.
Grantham, known for his role in The life of a loser and appearance in river valley, pleaded guilty to first degree murder in March 2020 for the killing of his mother, Barbara Waite.
The 24-year-old was sentenced to life imprisonment in the British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver on Wednesday. He will not be eligible for parole for 14 years, Canada’s CBC reports.
Justice Kathleen Ker said poignant statements from the victim’s loved ones, such as Grantham’s sister, showed the “life-breaking” impact of the tragedy. She added that the actor’s “saving grace” was that he was aware enough of what he was doing and that he didn’t go on a spree.
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Speaking of Grantham’s mental health issues, Ker noted that he was having issues weeks before the actor pulled the trigger and watched violent footage on the dark web.
He is receiving psychiatric treatment while in prison and appears to be showing improvement, Ker said, according to CBC.
The child actor’s attorney Chris Johnson said Grantham is not shocked by the conviction, according to CTV.
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“I think he anticipated what the judge gave him as punishment,” Johnson said. “I think he’s pretty apprehensive about the whole thing. He’s a pretty small person, and going to jail, I’m sure it’s a daunting and scary thought for him.”
Ker also referred to Grantham’s “small” size and said she would not recommend that he go to a maximum security prison.
Grantham was 21 when he shot his mother in the head while she was playing the piano.
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After the March 31, 2020 assassination, Grantham reportedly planned to assassinate Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He loaded his car with three rifles, ammunition, 12 Molotov cocktails, camping gear and a map with directions to Rideau Cottage, where Trudeau lived with his family, CBC reported at the time.
Grantham never made it to Trudeau’s residence and instead went to the Vancouver Police Department to turn himself in.
Crown Prosecutor Michaela Donnelly referred to two psychiatric reports that showed the actor was going through an “intense period of clinical depression” in the months leading up to the crime, CBC reported.
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The reports also showed that Grantham “experienced an urge to commit violence and commit suicide,” according to CBC. CBC added that reports said Grantham made the decision to kill his mother “to save her from the violence he intended to commit.”
Complex reported that Grantham’s sister Lisa Grantham found their mother on April 1. Lisa shared a victim statement with the court, saying her mother, who battled cancer, was her “best friend.”
“She was vulnerable and Ryan didn’t give her a chance to defend herself. It hurts me to know he was a danger to her life,” she said, according to Complex. Both she and her mother’s sister told the court that they “fear for his release from prison”.
If you or someone you know needs psychological help, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Textline at 741-741 to be put through to a certified crisis counselor.