“Riverdale” alum Ryan Grantham has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to the 2020 murder of his mother.
The 24-year-old, Vancouver-based actor previously appeared in “Supernatural,” “iZombie,” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” He killed his mother Barbara Waite in March 2020 in their Squamish, British Columbia home by shooting her with a handgun. Waite was battling cancer at the time of her death. Grantham pleaded guilty the day of the murder on March 31, and has been in prison since April 1, 2020.
On September 23, 2022, Grantham was sentenced to life in prison on a second degree murder conviction. Justice Kathleen Ker ruled Grantham must serve 14 years behind bars before becoming eligible for parole. Psychiatrists concluded Grantham was suffering from a “major depressive disorder and a cannabis use disorder” at the time of the murder.
“At his sentencing, [Grantham] gave a speech to the judge indicating that he was going to dedicate the rest of his life to rehabilitating himself and helping other people,” Grantham’s attorney Chris Johnson of Vancouver legal firm Johnson Doyle Nelson & Anderson said, via The Hollywood Reporter. “So he’s on the way to getting better.”
Canadian news outlet CBC reported Justice Ker said Grantham’s “saving grace” was that he was aware of the murder he committed and that he didn’t go on a killing spree. However, after killing his mother, Grantham allegedly planned to kill Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and loaded his car with three guns, ammunition, 12 Molotov cocktails, camping supplies and a map with directions to Rideau Cottage, where Trudeau lived with his family, CBC reported at the time. He instead went to the local police station to turn himself in.
The CBC report noted Grantham’s alleged motive for killing his mother was “to spare her from seeing the violence he intended to commit” on the world and himself. Grantham’s sister Lisa Grantham found Waite’s body April 1.
“She was vulnerable and Ryan gave her no chance to defend herself. It pains me to know he was a danger to her life,” Lisa Grantham said, according to Complex (via People). Both she and her mother’s sister told the court they “fear his release from prison.”
Due to Grantham’s “diminutive” stature, Justice Ker did not recommend him going to a maximum security prison.