A former Riverdale guest star has been sentenced to life in prison.
According to a recent report from CBC, actor Ryan Grantham was handed down a life sentence earlier this week after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the shooting death of his mother, Barbara Waite. Prosecutors also alleged that he planned to kill Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau afterwards.
During the sentencing, British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Kathleen Ker spoke about the "life-shattering" effects of the "tragic" and "heartbreaking" case, which she said was evident from victim impact statements delivered by Grantham's sister and other loved ones.
She went on to explain that the 24-year-old's "saving grace" was his awareness of the crime, as well as the fact that he stopped himself from going on the shooting spree he originally planned on. Ker then added that Grantham's mental health issues appeared to be improving in jail with psychiatric treatment, before recommending that he not be placed in a maximum security prison due to his "diminutive" stature. Grantham will be ineligible for parole for 14 years.
On the heels of the hearing, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid star's lawyer, Chris Johnson, relayed that his client had already "anticipated what the judge gave him as sentence," as second-degree murder automatically carries a life sentence in Canada. He also echoed Ker's statement about Grantham's size, saying that he believes the actor was "pretty apprehensive about the whole thing."
Johnson added, "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."
In March 2020, Grantham shot Waite in the back of the head while she was playing the piano, before getting into his car with three guns, ammunition, 12 Molotov cocktails, camping supplies and a map with directions to Trudeau's Ottawa home, though he opted to drive to Vancouver police headquarters instead. Prior to the murder, he was apparently experiencing an "intense period of clinical depression" and "urges to commit violence and kill himself," during which he began watching violent footage on the dark web to prepare for his attempt on Trudeau's life. Per prosecutors, two psychiatric evaluations found that Grantham killed his mother in order "to spare her from seeing the violence he intended to commit."
Read CBC's full report on Grantham here.
If you or someone you know needs mental health help, call the SAMHSA National Hotline at 1-800-662-4357 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.
Photo via Getty / Andrew Chin
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