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The Guardian - US
The Guardian - US
Gloria Oladipo

Riverdale actor Ryan Grantham receives life sentence for killing his mother

police tape
Ryan Grantham will be eligible to apply for parole in 14 years. Photograph: B Christopher/Alamy

The actor Ryan Grantham – featured in the CW show Riverdale and the movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid – has been sentenced to life in prison for fatally shooting his mother in their home in Canada.

Grantham, 24, was sentenced on Wednesday after pleading guilty earlier this year to second-degree murder, which carries an automatic sentence of life in prison, reported the New York Times.

On 31 March 2020, Grantham, then 21, shot his 64-year-old mother, Barbara Waite, in the back of the head with a handgun as she played piano.

The crime occurred in the family home located in Squamish, about an hour away from Vancouver.

Shortly after the murder, Grantham recorded a video confessing to the crime. He later told the authorities that he had planned on killing Canadian prime minster Justin Trudeau and possibly carrying out a mass shooting at a local university, but he changed his mind.

He told police that he rationalized killing his mother as sparing her from having to deal with the aftermath of his aborted plans to assassinate Trudeau and shoot up a school, the Times reported.

Grantham’s sentencing hearing Wednesday was largely to determine when he could apply for parole. Prosecutors asked for a waiting period of 17 to 18 years while Grantham’s defense requested one of only 12 years. The judge, Kathleen Ker, decided that Grantham must serve 14 years before being eligible to apply for parole, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Grantham has been imprisoned since 1 April 2020. Two-court appointed psychiatrists assessed him, the Hollywood Reporter added.

According to his attorney Chris Johnson, Grantham has serious mental health issues.

“The psychiatrists agreed that at the time of this horrendous event he was suffering from a major depressive disorder and a cannabis use disorder, among other things,” Johnson told the Hollywood Reporter.

Grantham has appeared in a number of movies and television shows. Besides Riverdale and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, he was also in the television show Supernatural.

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