May 21st, 2024

Sentencing hearing for former Saskatchewan Mountie who shot lover in park

By Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press on April 25, 2024.

Former RCMP officer Bernie Herman leaves the Court of King's Bench in custody after being convinced of manslaughter in Prince Albert, Sask. on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards

PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. – A sentencing hearing has started for a former Saskatchewan Mountie who shot and killed his lover.

Bernie Herman, who is 55, was convicted in January of manslaughter in the death of 26-year-old Braden Herman.

The two men are not related.

Braden Herman’s naked body was found in 2021 in a park on the outskirts of Prince Albert.

Bernie Herman testified that he fired the gun that killed Braden Herman, but lawyers disagreed on whether it was planned.

The officer’s lawyers argued the shooting was in self-defence, but prosecutors said the Mountie deliberately lured his lover to the isolated area to kill him.

Bernie Herman was charged with first-degree murder, but Court of King’s Bench Justice Gary Meschishnick said in his decision that the Crown had not proven the officer was not provoked.

The trial in December heard that the two men met on Facebook in about 2018. Soon after, the Mountie invited the younger man to move into the officer’s family home.

Court heard the relationship became sexual and began to affect the Mountie’s marriage. The officer’s wife kicked Braden Herman out of the home in 2019, but the two men continued to meet up for sex.

Bernie Herman testified the sex wasn’t always consensual and that Braden Herman would get violent. Prosecutors said the officer’s testimony wasn’t credible because he continued to seek out Braden Herman.

Court heard Bernie Herman was arguing with his wife about Braden Herman leading up to the shooting.

On May 11, 2021, Bernie Herman, wearing his uniform and carrying his RCMP-issued weapon, picked up Braden Herman and drove to the park.

The Mountie testified that Braden Herman, who was naked, grabbed the officer by the face then walked to the back of the officer’s truck and bent down to grab an object.

Bernie Herman said he didn’t remember what happened next, but his gun went off.

Meschishnick said he didn’t believe the Mountie had memory gaps or felt threatened. But the judge said he had a reasonable doubt “that the Crown has proven that (the officer) was not provoked into acting as he did.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 25, 2024.

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