‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ and ‘Riverdale’ Actor Gets Life for Killing His Mom

Ryan Grantham says he was mentally ill and watching dark web videos when he shot his mother in the back of the head as she played piano

Ryan Grantham, the 24-year-old actor who had a small role in 2010’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid and appeared in two episodes of Riverdale in 2019 was sentenced to life in prison in a British Columbia court on Wednesday for the 2020 murder of his mother.

Grantham pleaded guilty to second degree murder, admitting that he shot his mother Barbara Waite in the back of her head with a .22 caliber rifle as she played piano in their Squamish townhouse on March 31, 2020, the CBC reports. He will be eligible for parole in 14 years.

In handing down the sentence, Justice Kathleen Ker of B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver said victim impact statements, especially from the actor’s sister, spoke to the “life-shattering” effects of the crime, while acknowledging he had been suffering serious mental health issues and watching violent videos on the dark web.

Ker emphasized that Grantham’s “saving grace” was that he gave himself up to the police rather than going on a murder spree he had also apparently planned.

A GoPro video Grantham took a short time after the murder was shown in court in which he confesses to the murder and shows his mother’s body. In the video, TMZ reports, Grantham admits,  “I shot her in the back of the head. In the moments after, she would have known it was me.”

The day after the murder, the CBC recounts, Grantham covered Waite’s body with a sheet, arranged lit candles around it and hung a rosary from the piano before driving off in a car packed with guns, ammunition and Molotov cocktails—reportedly determined to head east to Ottawa, where he supposedly intended to assassinate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

When he reached Hope, B.C., however, he turned around and decided instead to commit a mass shooting at Simon Fraser University where he was enrolled, or on the Lions Gate Bridge. Finally, Grantham drove to the Vancouver Police Department building in East Vancouver and turned himself in.

Crown prosecutor Michaela Donnelly referenced two psychiatric reports that showed the actor had been going through an “intense period of clinical depression” in the months leading up to the crime, according to People. The documents state that Grantham was “experiencing urges to commit violence and kill himself” and that he had decided to kill his mother “to spare her from seeing the violence he intended to commit.”

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