Ryan Grantham: Riverdale, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and movie roles - and sentence for killing mother explained

The actor, who played Jeffrey Augustine in Riverdal, also planned to kill Canadian leader Justin Trudeau

The Riverdale star pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in March of this year, two years after the incident.

Here is everything you need to know about it.

What happened?

On 31 March 2020, Barbara Waite was found dead at her Canada home with a single gun-shot wound to the head.

Her then-21-year-old son had shot her in the back of the head in her Squamish townhouse while she was playing the piano.

He wrapped his mother's body in a sheet, arranged lit candles around it and hung a rosary from the piano before driving away the next day.

He intended to then travel on to Ottawa to assassinate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whom Grantham subsequently told police was "the most important person in Canada."

In a GoPro video shot by the actor himself, Grantham confesses to his mother’s murder before loading the car with guns, ammunition and Molotov cocktails.

He drove around 200 kilometres east before turning back, and considered planning a major attack on either the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver or Simon Fraser University, which he had previously attended.

Grantham allegedly told experts that he wanted to kill his mother to keep her from witnessing the brutality he had planned to commit.

That night, however, he drove to the Vancouver Police Department to hand himself in for his mother's murder.

Ryan Grantham as Jeffrey Augustine in Netflix’s Riverdale (Photo: Netflix)Ryan Grantham as Jeffrey Augustine in Netflix’s Riverdale (Photo: Netflix)
Ryan Grantham as Jeffrey Augustine in Netflix’s Riverdale (Photo: Netflix)

What sentence did he get?

Grantham was convicted guilty of murdering his mother and sentenced to life in prison, and now 24, the actor will be ineligible to apply for parole for the first 14 years of his sentence.

Grantham and his lawyer hoped for an earlier option of release from the British Columbia Prosecution Service while knowing his crime carried a life sentence (BCPS).

During a trial hearing in June of this year, he expressed regret to the court while saying he had "no excuse” for his actions.

Grantham said: “I cannot explain or justify my actions. I have no excuse. It hurts me to think about how badly I’ve wasted my life. In the face of something so horrible, saying sorry seems so pointless. But from every fibre of my being, I am sorry.”

During the trial, his defence argued that he had struggled with depression, anxiety and self-loathing, and had expressed a desire to harm himself or others in the months preceding his mother's death.

According to two psychiatric reports obtained in the aftermath of the murder, Grantham had a cannabis use disorder after years of heavy use, but was able to maintain the illusion that he was acting normally.

The court was told that he rehearsed the murder through “walk-throughs”, in which he would covertly approach his mother from behind with a gun - video of one of his walk-throughs was shown as evidence.

What TV shows and films has he been in?

Grantham began acting at the age of nine and is most recognised for his role in the British Columbia-based series, Riverdale.

In the show, his character Jeffrey Augustine accidently killed Fred Andrews in a hit-and-run while unlawfully driving his father's automobile. His father, George, then accepted responsibility for the tragedy.

The on-screen incident came about because Luke Perry, who portrayed Fred in the Netflix series, died of a stroke in March 2019 and was needed to be written out of the show.

Grantham's other credits include the television shows Supernatural and iZombie, as well as the films Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.