Defence expected to present case in murder trial of Saskatchewan Mountie

Defence lawyers are expected to present their case today in the murder trial of a former Saskatchewan Mountie. 

Bernie Herman, who is 55, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of 26-year-old Braden Herman. 

The two men are not related. 

Bernie Herman, left, and Braden Herman, right, pose in a handout photo provided by Braden’s family. Bernie Herman, a former Saskatchewan Mountie, is on trial for first-degree murder in the 2021 death of Braden Herman. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Brett Herman *MANDATORY CREDIT*

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

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.

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. 

The Crown was expected to close its case Thursday.

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

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.”

More from GX94 Radio