‘Riverdale’ actor and convicted killer Ryan Grantham fears for his safety in maximum security prison: lawyer

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

“Riverdale” actor and convicted murderer Ryan Grantham is concerned about his safety if he serves his sentence in a maximum security prison, according to his attorney, Chris Johnson.

The 24-year-old Canadian was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 14 years after he pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of his mother Barbara Waite.

Johnson told Fox News Digital that Grantham could be at a higher risk of abuse in prison because of his “diminutive” stature and “young-looking” appearance.

The Vancouver-based criminal defense lawyer said the issue was first raised during the trial by the judge presiding over Grantham’s case, Justice Kathleen Ker.

“RIVERDALE” ACTOR Sentenced to Life in Prison for Killing Mother, Planning Prime Minister TRUDEAU Assassination

According to Johnson, Judge Ker requested that corrections officials send Grantham to a medium-security prison instead of a maximum-security facility.

"Riverdale" actor and convicted murderer Ryan Grantham is worried about his safety if he serves his sentence in a maximum security prison, according to his lawyer, Chris Johnson

“Riverdale” actor and convicted murderer Ryan Grantham is concerned about his safety if he serves his sentence in a maximum-security prison, according to his attorney, Chris Johnson
(Andrew Chin/Getty Images)

Johnson said he shares her concern for Grantham’s safety, as the former child actor is 5-foot-2, weighs “about 100 pounds” and “looks like a 17-year-old.

“My biggest concern is that he will be preyed upon by other prisoners and perhaps abused by them. We send people to prison to be both punished and rehabilitated. And then I hope that the latter can take place. We do not send people in prison so they can be punished by other prisoners.”

Johnson explained that in the Canadian court system, the court has no authority to determine which institution an offender will serve time in. He said once an offender is convicted, corrections officials have jurisdiction over that decision.

“All the judge in our case could do is make a recommendation,” Johnson said.

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) operates prisons at three security levels: maximum, medium and minimum. Correctional authorities evaluate several factors before determining which level of security is most appropriate for the offender.

“Almost inevitably, someone convicted of first or second degree murder will go to a maximum security prison for at least two years,” Johnson said.

The Canadian actor played Jeffrey Augustine in the fourth season of the CW show "Riverdale."

The Canadian actor played Jeffrey Augustine in the fourth season of the CW show “Riverdale.”
(Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

He added that Judge Ker asked “to find out whether it was absolute or whether there was any exception to it.”

“And we found that there could possibly be an exception to that, which is you can make a request to the director of prisons,” Johnson said. “And essentially she asked us to do it.”

Johnson said he planned to send the request to the prison director this week. He told Fox News that Digital Grantham was being held at the North Fraser Regional Pre-Trial Center in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, pending his trial.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER

He will now be transferred to Pacific Institution, a maximum, medium and minimum federal prison in Abbotsford, British Columbia, until corrections officials classify him.

Johnson said Grantham has experienced “almost no problems” in prison.

“But in pre-trial, there’s a very high staff-to-prisoner ratio, and people are monitored pretty closely,” Johnson said. “And that’s not the case when you go to maximum security. There’s less oversight.”

According to Johnson, Grantham is “concerned” about entering a maximum security prison, adding: “I think he’s just worried about it because of his age and his appearance.”

Johnson said he was concerned about his client’s safety because the inmates incarcerated in maximum security prisons are “people who murder other people, gang-related people, dangerous offenders, sexual predators, people like that.”

Grantham also allegedly organized a plot to kill Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Grantham also allegedly organized a plot to kill Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
(David Kawai/Bloomberg)

Despite Grantham pleading guilty to second-degree murder, he should not be subjected to abuse while in prison, the lawyer said.

“When people plead guilty to a crime, that doesn’t mean they’re saying, ‘Of course I’m going to be raped and abused by other prisoners.’ That’s not part of the deal,” Johnson said.

“I’m just doing what I can. I’m not asking for any special treatment. This kid is obviously going to be punished. And you know, he got a life sentence. He’s going to be in prison for at least 14 years, but that doesn’t mean that he deserves to be abused by other prisoners.

“I like to say I did what I could to prevent it.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

On March 31, 2020, Grantham shot his 64-year-old mother in the back of the head while she was playing the piano in their home in Squamish, British Columbia. Prosecutors said the next day he loaded his car with weapons and Molotov cocktails before driving to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s home with the intention of assassinating Trudeau.

Grantham said he changed his mind and decided to commit a mass shooting at his college, Simon Fraser University. He ultimately did not carry out either act and instead turned himself into the Vancouver Police and admitted to killing his mother.

Authorities say Grantham was motivated to kill his mother so she wouldn’t have to witness the other violent acts he intended to commit.

The “Diary of A Wimpy Kid” actor was initially charged with first-degree murder. However, Johnson told Fox News Digital that Grantham underwent a psychiatric evaluation that indicated he was suffering from mental disorders, including major depression, which allowed him to plead guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree murder.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *