By Biodun Busari
Canadian actor Ryan Grantham has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to killing his 64-year-old mother, Barbara Waite, in 2020.
The 24-year-old, who acted role of Jeffery Augustine in the teen drama Riverdale, was sentenced at British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver, Canada on Wednesday.
According to BBC, Grantham pleaded guilty to second-degree murder following his initial charge with first-degree murder.
Prosecutors also said the actor plotted to kill Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Grantham admitted to shooting his mother in the back of the head as she played the piano in their home, north of Vancouver, the court heard.
In a video taken on his Go-Pro camera after the murder, the actor recorded his mother’s body while saying: “I shot her in the back of the head. In the moments after, she would have known it was me.”
After drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana for hours following the murder, he packed a car with three guns, ammunition and 12 Molotov cocktails he had made, as well as camping supplies and directions to Trudeau’s Rideau Cottage residence.
He drove roughly 200 kilometres east to the town of Hope, before turning around and driving to a Vancouver police station, where he told an officer: “I killed my mother.”
The court also heard Grantham had considered committing an act of mass violence at Vancouver’s Lions Gate Bridge or at Simon Fraser University, where he had been a student, en route before turning his car around and handing himself in.
Law enforcement officials in Vancouver disclosed that Grantham has been detained for the past two and a half years and has been participating in a mental health program since his arrest.
During the trial, his lawyers argued he had been struggling with anxiety and clinical depression and had expressed a desire to kill himself and harm others in the months leading up to him killing his mother.
He will not be eligible for parole for the first 14 years of his life sentence.