In a case involving the fatal shooting of his mother in their Squamish home, a young British Columbian actor, Ryan Grantham, was sentenced to 14 years in prison without the possibility of parole.
The 24-year-old man pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for the shooting that took place on March 31, 2020.
A Vancouver courtroom handed down the sentence Tuesday, three months after Grantham’s sentencing hearing ended.
His client wasn’t surprised by the sentence, said defense lawyer Chris Johnson.
“He’s a pretty small person, so going to the prison system must be a daunting and terrifying thought for him,” Johnson said. “I think he anticipates what the judge gave him as a sentence.”
The judge noted Grantham’s “diminutive” size and suggested he not be sent to a maximum security prison. Johnson said it would be up to B.C. Corrections.
During his time as a character on Netflix’s “Riverdale,” inspired by Archie Comics, Grantham grappled with depression, isolation, and excessive use of cannabis, the court heard.
Procrastinating in his studies at Simon Fraser University and not acting in a while, he had rationalized his actions because he didn’t want his mother to see his shortcomings.
Grantham shot Barbara Waite, 64, while she was playing the piano. He then lit some candles and hung rosaries over the piano, prayed, and left their home for more bloodshed.
SFU and the Lions Gate Bridge were on Grantham’s list of targets for mass murder.
It was his intention to assassinate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He had a printed map of Rideau Cottage in Ottawa and was heading there, before turning around in Hope and surrendering to Vancouver police.
According to Grantham’s defence team, he has been attending classes and counseling to improve his mental health.
He was urged to continue on that path by Justice Ker.
“This will be challenging for you,” she said. “As you move forward, stay committed to the commitment you made (during the sentencing hearing) about bettering your life.”
On April 1, 2034, exactly 14 years after being detained for the first time, he will be eligible for parole.
According to Grantham’s online filmography, he began acting in 2007 with roles in TV movies, including “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” “iZombie,” and “Supernatural.”
During his last acting role, he played a teenage boy who took his father’s truck without permission, killing Archie Andrews’ father, Fred, on “Riverdale.” A tribute to actor Luke Perry, who passed away earlier this year, is featured in the episode centered around the fatal hit-and-run.
Second-degree murder convictions carry life sentences with a 10- to 25-year parole ineligibility.
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- ‘Riverdale’ actor sentenced for fatally shooting mother | CTV News
- B.C. actor handed 14 years parole ineligibility in life sentence for mother’s murder – CBC.ca
- Ryan Grantham gets life in prison for killing mother in Squamish – Squamish Chief
- Former ‘Riverdale’ Actor Who Admitted He Murdered His Mother In BC Just Got A Life Sentence – Narcity Canada