Ryan Grantham, a 23-year-old actor, was found guilty of murdering his mother, Barbara Anne Waite, at their British Columbia home in March 2020 and received a life sentence on Wednesday.
Grantham, who began acting at a young age and made appearances in Diary of a Wimpy Kid and a 2019 Riverdale episode, was detained in March 2020. Earlier this year, he entered a plea of guilty to second-degree murder.
According to CBC, Waite was playing the piano in their house when Grantham fatally shot her in the back of the head with a .22 rifle. Prosecutors showed a GoPro video of Grantham moments after the murder, when he was filming his mother’s body and confessing, “I shot her in the back of the head. In the moments after, she would have known it was me.”
He allegedly smoked cannabis and drank beer for the next few hours. The next day, he allegedly covered the body with a sheet, put candles around it, hung a rosary from the piano, and then loaded his car with weapons, ammo, Molotov cocktails, camping gear, and directions to Ontario Premier Justin Trudeau’s home.
He confessed to authorities that he had pondered both trying to assassinate Trudeau and carrying out a mass shooting at Simon Fraser University after handing himself in at police headquarters in Vancouver.
He instead made a U-turn and headed back to the police station. The day following the murder, Waite’s body was found by Grantham’s sister Lisa.
At the trial, Grantham’s sister delivered a victim impact statement. British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Kathleen Ker described the case as “tragic” and “heartbreaking,” adding that Grantham’s decision to turn himself in rather than execute a mass murder was a “saving grace.”
In Canada, a conviction for second-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence, thus the question was how long Grantham would have to serve before he could ask for parole.
A British Columbia charge of second-degree murder comes with a 10- to 25-year period of no parole eligibility.
In light of this, the prosecution had earlier this year requested that Grantham be barred from parole for up to 18 years during a sentencing hearing. The defense team for the former actor had requested 12 years as a reasonable punishment. Clearly, Justice Ker’s decision this week met them halfway.
Police said in Vancouver, Grantham has been detained for the past 2.5 years after being initially charged with first-degree murder.
Grantham has been participating in a mental health program since his incarceration, and according to sources, he is currently being prepared for transfer to a more permanent facility.