Riverdale Actor Ryan Grantham Allegedly Plotted to Kill Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Ryan Grantham allegedly planned to kill Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after pleading guilty to second-degree murder on his mother, Barbara Waite.

By Kelly Gilmore Jun 16, 2022 2:59 AMTags
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A former Riverdale actor allegedly had plans to kill Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, prosecutors in British Columbia argued in court this week.

Back in March, Ryan Grantham pled guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his mother, Barbara Waite, according to a statement from Dan McLaughlin, Communications Counsel for the BC Prosecution Service, to E! News.

During Grantham's sentencing this week, he was also accused of plotting to kill Trudeau after his mom's death, according to reporter Karin Larsen of CBC News, who virtually attended the sentencing.

Grantham allegedly killed his 64-year-old mother in their townhouse in March 2020, and, the next day, loaded his car with three guns, Molotov cocktails, ammunition, supplies for camping and a map with directions that led to Rideau Cottage in Ottawa—where Trudeau and his family live. The 24-year-old allegedly then got in his vehicle and drove with the plan to kill Trudeau, per CBC.

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Grantham discussed killing Trudeau in both a police statement and a journal that were read in court, according to CBC

Larsen reported that Grantham eventually turned the car around with a plan to commit mass violence at his school, Simon Fraser University, or Vancouver's Lions Gate Bridge. However, that night, he turned himself in to the Vancouver police and told an officer, "I killed my mother."

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At his sentencing on June 15, Grantham read a statement before the court, noting that he is "sorry."

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

His lawyer, Chris Johnson, said that mental illness played a factor in Grantham's choices.

"At the time of the offense, this killing was not done out of hatred or animosity," Johnson said, "it was done in Mr. Grantham's disordered thinking, to prevent his mother from seeing what he thought he was about to do."

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In 2019, Grantham guest starred on The CW's Riverdale, playing Jeffery Augustine, who killed Fred Andrews (Luke Perry) in a hit-and-run, per TVLine. He also played Redwood in Becoming Redwood in 2012 and Rodney James in Diary of a Wimpy Kid in 2010.

Things took a turn on March 31, 2020, when Grantham shot his mom, Waite, in the back of the head while she played piano in their home, according to the admission of facts, which prosecutors read in court, per CBC.

According to the BC Prosecution Service, second-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence. Grantham's three-day sentencing hearing—which began on June 13 and concluded on June 15—is being held to decide how long Grantham must serve before he is eligible to apply for parole. Under the Criminal Code of Canada, a person convicted of second-degree murder is eligible for parole after a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 25 years. 

Larsen reported that, during the June 13 courtroom proceedings, Crown prosecutor Michaela Donnelly presented two psychiatric reports which said that Grantham was suffering with clinical depression, urges to commit violence and a cannabis use disorder before the murder took place.

These reports said that Grantham chose to kill his mother to prevent her from seeing the violence he planned to do, according to CBC.

"Mr. Grantham was seeking to save his mother from something he was going to do," prosecutor Donnelly said in court, per CBC. "That is something different than altruism."

E! News has been unable to obtain contact information for someone to speak on Ryan's behalf, including a talent representative or lawyer.

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