Grantham, 24, began his sentencing hearing on Monday, June 13, to determine how many years of a prison sentence he’ll serve before becoming eligible for parole. According to CBC News, the British Columbia court was shown videos of the Canadian actor rehearsing the March 2020 shooting of his mother, including one where he shows his mother’s corpse and confesses to killing her.
Prosecutors alleged on Tuesday, June 14, that Grantham also plotted to kill Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. CBC News reported that the Canada native started driving east the day after his mother’s death in a car packed with 12 Molotov cocktails, three guns and ammunition with the intention of killing Trudeau, 50, at his Ottawa home. Instead of going through with the alleged plan, Grantham changed course and drove to Vancouver police headquarters to turn himself in.
“I cannot explain or justify my actions. I have no excuse,” the 24-year-old said of shooting his mother in a statement to the court on Wednesday, June 15. “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.”
Grantham’s lawyer Chris Johnson argued that mental illness contributed to his client’s actions. “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.”
Prosecutor Michaela Donnelly stated that the defendant committed a “heartbreaking breach of trust” by allegedly shooting his mother. “Barbara Waite loved her son very much, was an excellent parent and in her mind had no reason to fear him,” she said during the hearing.
The prosecutor also referenced two psychiatric reports highlighting Grantham’s struggle with depression leading up to the murder. According to CBC News, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid actor was experiencing suicidal thoughts and had fears about his mother learning he had stopped attending classes at Simon Fraser University.
Second-degree murder charges result in automatic life sentences in Canada. The Riverdale alum’s lawyer requested that Grantham be eligible for parole in 12 years while the prosecution asks for 17 to 18 years of parole ineligibility.
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