B.C. man set out for Ottawa to assassinate Trudeau after killing mother, court hears

Ryan Grantham, 24, loaded his car with three guns, 12 molotov cocktails and a map with directions to Rideau Cottage

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A former child actor killed his mother and planned to drive across the country to assassinate the prime minister, the B.C. Supreme Court heard on Tuesday.

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Ryan Grantham, 24, confessed to shooting Barbara Waite, 64, in the back of the head in their Squamish, B.C. townhouse in March 2020 while she was playing the piano.

“He put the crosshairs on the back of her head, closed his eyes and pulled the trigger,” Crown prosecutor Michaela Donnelly said, Glacier Media reports.

Grantham plead guilty of second murder, which carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 10 years.


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The day after the murder, while his mother still lay in a pool of blood, Grantham loaded his car with three guns, 12 molotov cocktails, camping supplies and a map with driving directions to Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, per CBC.

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Donnelly, presenting two psychiatric reports, told the court Grantham was suffering a major depressive episode and had experienced suicidal and homicidal ideations.

She said he wanted to kill his mother to spare her from learning about the violence he intended to commit, specifically against Justin Trudeau.

“Mr. Grantham was seeking to save his mother from something he was going to do,” Crown prosecutor Michaela Donnelly told the court, per CBC. “That is something different than altruism.”

Prosecutors say he was increasingly plagued by self-loathing and guilt about his mother learning that he stopped attending Simon Fraser University.

“Barbara Waite loved her son very much, was an excellent parent and in her mind had no reason to fear him,” said Donnelly. She said Grantham’s use of a gun should factor in the sentence, noting his recent purchase of a firearm despite being aware of his violent urges.

He also recorded a GoPro video of himself doing a practice run for the crime on at least one occasion, by walking up to his mother with a gun in secret, the court heard. Before he left the house, Grantham wrote in his journal and took a video showing his mother’s dead body.

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“I shot her in the back of the head,” he says in the recording. “In the moments after, she would have known it was me.”

His journal dated March 31 reads in part, “I’m so sorry mom, I’m so sorry Lisa … I hate myself.

“There’s a lot of media of me out there … film and TV … hundreds of hours of me that can be viewed and dissected … No one will understand,” it reads.

Grantham covered the body in a sheet, hung a rosary from the piano and arranged candles around the body.

He embarked on a 50-hour drive to Ottawa to kill Justin Trudeau. Grantham was experienced with firearms and had tested a molotov cocktail in a remote location before setting off, the court heard. When he reached Hope, located close to two hours away, he turned his car around, with thoughts of carrying out a mass shooting at Lions Gate Bridge or at Simon Fraser University.

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Instead, Grantham drove to Vancouver later that night and turned himself in to a police officer sitting in his patrol car. He told the officer: “I killed my mother.”

Grantham began his acting career while still in elementary school, appearing in a fried chicken commercial before landing roles in TV shows and movies. A film industry website says that he was in three TV roles in 2019, including an episode of Riverdale, a show inspired by the Archie comics.

The court will hear from the defense Wednesday. The Crown is asking for 17 to 18 years of parole ineligibility.

— Additional reporting from Vancouver Sun

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