Netflix Ryan Grantham in an episode of Riverdale
Actor Ryan Grantham was sentenced to life in prison for the shooting death of his mother.
Grantham, known for his role in Diary of a Wimpy Kid and appearance in Riverdale, pled guilty to second-degree murder in March 2020 for killing his mother, Barbara Waite.
The 24-year-old was handed a life sentence in the British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver on Wednesday. He will not be eligible for parole for 14 years, Canada’s CBC reports.
Per the outlet, Justice Kathleen Ker said gripping statements from the victim’s loved ones, such as Grantham’s sister, showed the “life-shattering” impact of the tragedy. She added that the actor’s “saving grace” was that he was aware enough of what he did and he didn’t go on a spree.
Speaking about Grantham’s mental health issues, Ker noted that he had been having difficulties weeks before the actor pulled the trigger and had been viewing violent footage on the dark web.
He is getting psychiatric treatment while in jail and appears to be showing improvement, said Ker according to CBC.
The child actor’s lawyer Chris Johnson said, according to CTV, that Grantham is not shocked at the sentencing.
“I think he anticipated what the judge gave him as a sentence,” Johnson said. “I think he’s pretty apprehensive about the whole thing. He’s a fairly tiny person, and to go to the prison system, I’m sure it’s a daunting and scary thought for him.”
Ker also made reference to Grantham’s “diminutive” size and said she wouldn’t recommend for him to go to a maximum security prison.
Grantham was 21 when he shot his mother in the head as she played piano.
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After the March 31, 2020, murder, Grantham allegedly planned to kill Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He 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.
Grantham never made it to Trudeau’s residence, and instead went to Vancouver police headquarters to turn himself in.
Crown prosecutor Michaela Donnelly referenced two psychiatric reports that showed the actor had been 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, according to CBC, that Grantham was “experiencing urges to commit violence and kill himself.” CBC added that the reports said Grantham made the decision to kill his mother “to spare her from seeing the violence he intended to commit.”
Complex reported that Grantham’s sister Lisa Grantham found their mother on April 1. Lisa shared a victim impact statement with the court and said her mother, who was battling cancer, was her “best friend.”
“She was vulnerable and Ryan gave her no chance to defend herself. It pains 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 they “fear his release from prison.”
If you or someone you know needs mental health help, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.