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“Riverdale” actor and convicted murderer Ryan Grantham is worried about his safety if he serves time 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 pleading guilty to the second-degree murder of his mother Barbara Waite.
Johnson told Fox News Digital that Grantham might be at higher risk of abuse in prison due to his “diminutive” stature and “young” appearance.
Vancouver-based criminal defense attorney He said the issue was first raised during court proceedings by the judge who presided over Grantham’s case, Justice Kathleen Ker.
‘RIVERDALE’ ACTOR SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR MURDERING MOTHER, PLANNING MURDER OF PM TRUDEAU
According to Johnson, Judge Ker requested that prison authorities send Grantham to a medium security prison instead of a maximum security facility.
Johnson said he shares his 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 other inmates will take advantage of him and maybe abuse them. We send people to prison to be punished and rehabilitated. So I’m hopeful that the latter can happen. We don’t send people to prison so that they can be punished by other prisoners”.
Johnson explained that, in the canadian judicial system, the court has no authority to determine in which institution an offender is serving a sentence. He said that once an offender is sentenced, correctional authorities 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. Prison authorities evaluate several factors before determining what level of security is most appropriate for the offender.
“Almost inevitably a person convicted of first or second degree murder will go to a maximum security prison for at least two years,” Johnson said.
He added that Judge Ker asked “to find out if that was absolute or if there were any exceptions.”
“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 that.”
Johnson said he planned to submit the request to the director of prisons this week. He told Fox News Digital that Grantham was being held at the North Fraser Regional Pretrial Center in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, awaiting his trial.
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He will now be transferred to the Pacific Institution, a maximum, medium and minimum federal penitentiary in Abbotsford, British Columbiauntil correctional authorities classify him.
Johnson said Grantham has experienced “almost no problems” in prison.
“But in the pretrial phase, there is a very high staff-to-prisoner ratio, and people are closely monitored,” Johnson said. “And that’s not the case when you go to maximum security. There’s less supervision.”
According to Johnson, Grantham is “afraid” of entering a maximum-security prison, adding: “I think he’s just worried about it because of his age and appearance.”
Johnson said he was concerned about his client’s safety because the inmates who are incarcerated in maximum security prisons are “people who murder other people, people who are gang-related, dangerous criminals, sexual predators, people like that.”
Although Grantham pleaded guilty to second degree murderhe should not be abused while in prison, the lawyer said.
“When people plead guilty to a crime, it doesn’t mean they’re saying, ‘Sure, I’ll 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’s got a life sentence. He’s going to be in jail for at least 14 years, but that doesn’t mean he deserves being abused by other prisoners.
“I like to say that I did what I could to avoid that.”
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On March 31, 2020, Grantham shot his 64-year-old mother in the back of the head while she was playing the piano at their home in Squamish, British Columbia. Prosecutors said the next day she loaded her car with weapons and Molotov cocktails before driving to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau house with the aim of assassinating Trudeau.
Grantham said he changed his mind and decided to commit a mass shooting at his university, Simon Fraser University. Ultimately, she did not go through with either act and instead turned herself in to the Vancouver police and admitted to killing her mother.
Authorities say Grantham was motivated to murder 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 suffered from mental health disorders, including major depression, which allowed him to plead guilty to the misdemeanor charge of second-degree murder.
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