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Actor Ryan Grantham Sentenced to Life in Prison for Killing His Mother

The former child star, who appeared in "Riverdale" and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," pled guilty to the March 2020 shooting death of his mother, Barbara Waite.

Former child actor Ryan Grantham has been sentenced to life in prison for the shooting death of his mother, Barbara Waite, at their home in Canada in 2020.

Grantham, known for his roles in Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Riverdale, pled guilty to second-degree murder for killing his mother. At age 21, he shot Waite in the head with a .22 rifle as she played the piano at home in Squamish, British Columbia.

Ryan Grantham sentenced for killing his mother
Actor Ryan Grantham is pictured left on November 24, 2013, in Vancouver, Canada. He is pictured right in an episode of "Riverdale." He pled guilty to shooting and killing his mother in 2020. Andrew Chin/Getty Images;/Netflix

On Wednesday, Grantham, 24, was handed his mandatory life sentence in Vancouver's British Columbia Supreme Court, and as part of his sentencing, he will not be eligible for parole for 14 years, according to CBC.

Grantham confessed to the murder and filmed his mom's body in GoPro video footage taken shortly after the crime and shown in court.

One day after killing his mother, Grantham left the property in a car packed with three firearms, ammunition, and 12 Molotov cocktails with the intention of killing Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the nation's capital, Ottawa.

Partway through his journey, he decided instead to commit a mass shooting, before driving to a Vancouver Police Department building and turning himself in.

At Grantham's sentencing hearing, Justice Kathleen Ker said his change of heart regarding the killing spree was his "saving grace," and that statements from those close to Waite, including Grantham's sister, showed how "life-shattering" the impact of the tragedy was.

Ker said that Grantham had struggled with his mental health in the weeks leading up to killing his mother and had been viewing violent video footage on the dark web.

According to CBC, the judge said that Grantham is showing signs of improvement amid his ongoing psychiatric treatment in jail.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pictured in New York on September 21, 2022. It was stated in court that Ryan Grantham intended to kill Trudeau, but eventually changed mind and turned himself in to the police. LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images

Grantham's lawyer Chris Johnson told CTV News: "I think he anticipated what the judge gave him as a sentence.

"I think he's pretty apprehensive about the whole thing. 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."

Making note of Grantham's "diminutive" stature, Ker said that she would not recommend that the actor serve out his sentence in a maximum-security prison.

Two psychiatric reports referenced by Crown prosecutor Michaela Donnelly said that Grantham had been experiencing an "intense period of clinical depression" in the months before he killed his mother.

Grantham was "experiencing urges to commit violence and kill himself." According to the reports received by CBC, he killed his mother "to spare her from seeing the violence he intended to commit."

Complex said that Grantham's sister, Lisa, found their mother—who had been battling cancer—on April 1, 2020, the day after she had been killed.

"She was vulnerable, and Ryan gave her no chance to defend herself," Lisa said in her victim impact statement. "It pains me to know he was a danger to her life."

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