Former “Riverdale” actor Ryan Grantham was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the first 14 years, after he admitted to murdering his mother — and also plotting to assassinate Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Grantham, 24, learned his fate at British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver on Wednesday, more than six months after he pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder charge for the March 2020 killing of his mother, Barbara Waite, 64, whom he shot in the back of the head as she played the piano.
In delivering the sentence, Justice Kathleen Ker described the case as tragic, heartbreaking and “life-shattering,” reported CBC.ca.
Prosecutors said at a hearing in June that after he fatally shot his mother on March 31, 2020, at the family’s home in Squamish, British Columbia, he recorded video with a GoPro camera, in which he confessed to the killing and showed Waite’s lifeless body.
“I shot her in the back of the head. In the moments after, she would have known it was me,” Grantham said in the recording.
The actor then bought beer and weed, experimented with making Molotov cocktails and watched Netflix, before covering his mother’s body with a sheet and going to bed, according to his statement to the police.
The following day, Grantham said, he hung a rosary on his mother’s piano and arranged lit candles around her body, before loading his car with three guns, ammunition, 12 Molotov cocktails, camping gear and directions to Rideau Cottage, where Trudeau lives in Ottawa.
Grantham later confessed to detectives about his plan to kill the prime minister, and he also wrote about it in his journal.
He drove for a few hours toward Trudeau’s residence, before turning around with thoughts of committing a mass shooting on the Lions Gate Bridge, or at Simon Fraser University, where he was a student.
Instead, Grantham drove to the Vancouver Police Department and turned himself in, telling an officer, “I killed my mother.”
During the sentencing, Ker called it a “saving grace” that Grantham had enough attachment to reality and comprehension not to commit an act of mass murder.
She noted that in the months leading up to his mother’s killing, Grantham was in a downward spiral, which saw him smoking weed and watching violent videos on the dark web while being plagued by thoughts of suicide and homicidal ideations.
Ker also said Grantham appeared truly remorseful. In June, he apologized for his actions, saying his mother did not deserve what he did to her.
Grantham is best known for playing Jeffrey Augustine on the CW show “Riverdale.” His other acting credits include the TV show “Supernatural” and the films “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.”