Saskatchewan Mountie accused of shooting lover in park testifies in murder trial

A former Saskatchewan Mountie accused of murder says he had a sexual relationship with the victim.

Brett Herman, brother of Braden Herman who was killed in May of 2021, stands for a photograph outside of the Court of King's Bench during the opening day of the trail of Bernie Herman, not related to Braden or Brett, a Mountie who has been charged with first-degree murder in a May 2021 death, in Prince Albert, Sask., Monday, Dec. 4, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards

Bernie Herman a former Saskatchewan Mountie, 55, is up on the witness stand in his first-degree murder trial.

He has pleaded not guilty in the shooting death of 26-year-old Braden Herman.

The two men are not related.

Braden Herman. Photo: APTN archives

The trial has heard Braden Herman’s naked body was found in a park on the outskirts of Prince Albert, Sask., in 2021.

Bernie Herman has testified Braden Herman would sometimes hit him and became upset when the officer didn’t want to have sex.

Court has heard the two men met on Facebook and Braden Herman moved into the veteran officer’s family home in 2018.

Messages and images from cellphones entered into the trial show the two men had a sexual relationship that put a strain on the officer’s marriage.

Const. Riley Babott, a digital forensics examiner with Calgary police who analyzed the devices, read the messages in court.

Photographs of Snapchat conversations between the two men show them sharing feelings of love. The messages also show frustrations with their relationship and issues with Bernie Herman’s wife.

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Janice Herman told court she kicked the younger man out of the home in 2019. Text messages between her and her husband show she was frustrated that he continued the relationship with the younger man.

“I was alone for seven months while you were having the time of your life,” Janice Herman texted her husband 20 days before the killing.

Family have said Braden Herman was kind and thoughtful, a friendly giant who wouldn’t hurt a fly.

Brett Herman thinks back fondly on his childhood, running outside his grandfather’s house in northern Saskatchewan with his younger brother chasing behind.

He describes his brother, Braden, as a gentle giant who would never hurt a fly.

Brett Herman says he never would have imagined that years later, his younger brother would be killed and the accused would be a veteran police officer.

“I really don’t know how to deal with this,” Brett Herman says.

Janice Herman testified earlier in the week that Braden Herman was violent and unpredictable. However, she and her husband continued to socialize with him.

Janice Herman was having drinks with Braden Herman the night before his death.

She also dropped off alcohol for him and a friend on May 11, 2021, the day he was killed.

In text messages to her husband that day, she criticized the Mountie’s relationship with Braden Herman.

“You telling (Braden Herman) you want him and not your wife, that, too, hurts,” she said in a text to her husband.

Later that day, Bernie Herman sent a text to his wife saying he’d had enough and shot Braden Herman.

The message said: “Just so you know your life has changed from here on. I just shot and killed him.”

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