Actor Kills Mom and Plans to Kill Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Former Riverdale actor Ryan Grantham, who pleaded guilty to murdering his mother in British Columbia, Canada, in March, allegedly planned to kill Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau too.

Grantham shot Barbara Whaite in the back of the head as she played the piano in their home on March 31, 2020, in Squamish, north of Vancouver.

He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder after initially being charged with first-degree murder.

On Monday, the court heard that Grantham had rehearsed the killing of his mother, approaching her secretly with a gun in the days prior, and also filmed a four-minute confession video afterwards, where he showed the body.

Now, prosecutors say that the 24-year-old former child star packed his car the following day with three guns, ammunition and 12 Molotov cocktails and set off east with camping supplies and directions to Mr Trudeau’s Ottawa residence, Rideau Cottage.

The details emerged as he appeared in court for sentencing for the 2020 killing, according to CBC, with the court being told that Grantham decided to kill his mother to spare her from seeing the violence he intended to commit.

Grantham, who also appeared in iZombie and Supernatural as well as Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus, played Jeffery Augustine in a 2019 episode of Riverdale, a character crucial to the exit of Fred Andrews (Luke Perry).

Following the shooting, he left his mother’s body in a pool of blood and drove as far as Hope, BC, approximately 130 miles by road.

Before setting off, he hung a rosary from the piano and arranged candles around Whaite’s body, which was discovered that evening by his sister after she became concerned following numerous missed texts and calls.

Having tested one of the Molotov cocktails in a remote area, Grantham did not make it any further to Mr Trudeau’s home, instead reportedly turning around with thoughts of committing mass violence and murder on Vancouver’s Lions Gate Bridge or at Simon Fraser University, where he was enrolled as a student.

He instead later drove to Vancouver police headquarters to turn himself in, confessing to killing his mother.

The actor, who started his career aged nine, mentioned intending to kill Mr Trudeau in both his statement to police and in his private diary, excerpts of which were read out in court, reported the publication.

According to the publication, prosecutors referenced psychiatric reports that agreed Grantham was ‘going through an intense period of clinical depression’ and was experiencing urges to commit violence and kill himself.

The experienced gun user and former member of a gun club also had a cannabis use disorder.

The defence pointed to mental illness playing a major role in Grantham’s behaviour and said that he feels ‘significant remorse’, as well as highlighting his previously clean record and age – 21 – at the time of the crime.

On Wednesday before the hearing wrapped, Grantham apologised for his actions in a statement and said he had ‘no excuse’, calling his mother a ‘caring and compassionate’ woman who had done nothing to deserve what he did to her.

‘I cannot explain or justify my actions. I have no excuse,’ he said. ‘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 fiber of my being, I am sorry.’

Second-degree murder comes with a mandatory life sentence in British Columbia.

However, a person convicted of second-degree murder is eligible for parole after a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 25 years; the prosecution is asking for 17 to 18 years of ineligibility for parole, while Grantham’s defence team have asked for 12.

Justice Kathleen Ker has reserved decision for a future date. 

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