As CBC Reported, Ryan Grantham, a Canadian actor whose credits include “Riverdale,” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and “Supernatural,” has been sentenced to life in prison with parole ineligibility of 14 years for the second-degree murder of his mother.
In delivering the sentence in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, Justice Kathleen Ker called the case tragic and heartbreaking, and said victim impact statements, especially from his sister, spoke to the “life-shattering” effects of the crime.
Second-degree murder comes with an automatic life sentence. At question in the sentencing hearing was how long Grantham would have to wait before he can apply for parole.
According to Variety, In March 2020, the actor shot his mom, Barbara Waite, in the back of the head with a .22 rifle as she played piano in their home in Squamish, British Columbia. As shown in court, Grantham then took a GoPro video shortly after the murder, in which he confesses to killing his mother and shows her body.
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The following day, he covered the body with a sheet, surrounded it with lit candles and hung a rosary from the piano, before driving east to Ottawa in a car packed with guns, ammunition and Molotov cocktails. His intention was to kill Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Instead, he drove to Hope, B.C., with thoughts of committing a mass shooting at Simon Fraser University — where he was enrolled — or on the Lions Gate Bridge.
Ultimately he decided to turn himself in at the Vancouver Police Department building in East Vancouver.
In her reasons, Ker called it a “saving grace” that Grantham had enough attachment to reality and psychological comprehension to elect not to go on a shooting rampage.
Grantham’s sister delivered a victim impact statement at the trial, with British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Kathleen Ker calling the case “tragic” and “heartbreaking.” The judge said it was a “saving grace” that Grantham chose to turn himself in and not commit a mass murder.
She summarized how Grantham was in a downward spiral in the months leading up to the matricide, spending an increasing amount of time smoking cannabis and watching violent videos on the dark web, while feeling isolated and consumed by suicidal and homicidal urges.
Ker said she considered Grantham’s mental health difficulties at the time of the murder a mitigating circumstance. She noted that Grantham was seeking psychiatric help in prison and receiving positive reviews about his behaviour and progress.
Court hears B.C. actor killed mother to spare her from seeing the violence he intended to commit
She said Grantham appeared truly remorseful. In June, he addressed the court and delivered an apology, saying his mother was a caring and compassionate person who did not deserve what he did to her.
Grantham started acting in film and television when he was nine years old. His credits include the B.C.-filmed TV series Riverdale, Supernatural and iZombie, and the films Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
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Sources: CBC, Variety
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