Life without parole in 12 years for the ‘Riverdale’ actor who murdered his mother
Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Last March, actor Ryan Grantham, known for his work on the series ‘Riverdale’, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder in the death two years ago of his mother, Barbara Waite, who was shot in the head while she was playing the piano at her Squamish home.
The only sentence that Canadian law contemplates for this crime is life imprisonment, but the great unknown was how long he would have to spend behind bars before he could apply for parole. The trial to decide it began last June in the Supreme Court of British Columbia and initially the defense had requested a period of 12 years and the prosecution suggested 18. Finally this Monday the judge has set the date at 14 years.
When pronouncing the sentence, Judge Kathleen Ker described the case as tragic, heartbreaking and “heartbreaking”. During sentencing, Ker called it a “saving grace” that Grantham had enough grounding and understanding not to commit an act of mass murder.
He noted that in the months prior to his mother’s murder, Grantham was in a downward spiral, which saw him smoking weed and watching violent videos on the deep web while he was plagued by suicidal thoughts and homicidal ideas.
Ker also said that Grantham he seemed genuinely sorry. In June, he apologized for his actions and said that his mother did not deserve what she did to him.
Grantham, who was originally charged with first-degree murder, has spent the past two and a half years in custody participating in a mental health program, and is now preparing for transfer to a permanent correctional facility. The former child star’s initial intention was to make an attempt on the life of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and he managed to seize three pistols, ammunition, 12 Molotov cocktails, camping equipment and a printed Google map with directions to Rideau Cottage, the current residence of the Trudeau family in Ottawa.
The day after murdering her mother, while the woman’s lifeless body was still lying on the floor of the house where her other daughter found it, Grantham got into his car and started driving, but changed his mind midway and headed to Simon Fraser University, where he himself had studied., with the intention of carrying out a massacre, as he wrote in his diary. In the end he turned himself in to the police that very night before committing any of those crimes.
In his testimony before the judge, Ryan expressed his remorse for the death of his mother, assuring that he was a “caring and compassionate” person. that he did not deserve what happened to him, and assured that he could not “explain or justify” his actions.
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