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Who is Riverdale's Ryan Grantham? Actor sentenced to life in prison for killing his mother

The star pleaded guilty in March

ryan grantham riverdale
Hannah Hargrave
US Deputy Editor
23 September 2022
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Ryan Grantham was once best known for playing Jeffery Augustine in The CW horror show, Riverdale, but the actor will now face life behind bars for a real-life crime. 

The 24-year-old pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in March 2022 after he fatally shot his mother, Barbara Waite, in 2020.

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His sentencing was delivered on 22 September in British Columbia, when he was handed a life sentence with the possibility of parole in 14 years. 

WATCH: Riverdale: Season five trailer

But who is Ryan Grantham and what exactly happened?

Who is Ryan Grantham?

He began acting professionally at the age of nine and starred in the Diary of Wimpy Kid movie, playing Rodney James, in 2010. Ryan had a part in Riverdale in 2019, but his life would then take a tragic turn. 

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What happened to Ryan Grantham's mom?

Ryan shot his mother in the head as she played the piano in their townhouse in Squamish, north of Vancouver, Canada.

ryan grantham riverdale photo© Photo: Netflix

Ryan in Riverdale in 2019 - credit Netflix 

The court also heard that the actor plotted to kill Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after murdering his mother, but on his way to his residence, he changed his mind and turned himself in to the police instead.

During the trial, Ryan's defense claimed he suffered with depression, anxiety, and self-loathing, and had spoken about his desire to harm himself and others in the months leading up to his mom's tragic death. 

Justice Kathleen Ker told Canada's CBC that Ryan has been getting psychiatric treatment while in jail and appears to be improving. 

ryan grantham riverdale© Photo: Getty Images

Ryan tragically killed his mother and has been sentence to life in prison 

Ryan is said not to be surprised by the sentencing, with his lawyer, Chris Johnson, telling CTV: "I think he anticipated what the judge gave him as a sentence. I think he's pretty apprehensive about the whole thing. He's a fairly tiny person, and to go to the prison system, I'm sure it's a daunting and scary thought for him."

Ryan killed his mother "to spare her from seeing the violence he intended to commit".

His sister, Lisa, discovered their mother at the home. Her victim impact statement said she feared Ryan's release from prison and she was crushed at losing her "best friend". 

"She was vulnerable and Ryan gave her no chance to defend herself," she said. "It pains me to know he was a danger to her life."

If you or someone you know needs mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to speak with a certified crisis counselor.

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