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Crown argues for life sentence for Sask. Mountie who shot and killed his lover


A Crown prosecutor says the former RCMP officer who shot and killed his lover should be sentenced to life in prison.

In May 2021, 26-year-old Braden Herman’s naked body was found in a park on the outskirts of Prince Albert. He had a fatal gunshot wound to his chest.

In January, Bernie Herman, 55, was convicted of manslaughter in Braden’s death. The two were not related.

During sentencing arguments on Thursday, Crown prosecutor Jennifer Schmidt asked the judge to consider a life sentence for Herman.

“It is a high ask, and we acknowledge that,” she said

Herman was in uniform at the time of the killing, and Braden was shot by Herman's RCMP service weapon, according to a statement of facts introduced during the trial.

Schmidt noted how the officer shot Braden, left him to die alone in a rural area, and then told his wife about the killing.

“On those facts, it is as close to a murder as you can get,” Schmidt told court.

She also asked the judge to consider the power dynamic between the two.

Court heard the men met on Facebook in 2018, and shortly after, Braden moved in to the officer's family home, where the relationship became sexual.

Schmidt said Herman was in a position of privilege — he had a home, family, and a respected career, while Braden was vulnerable because he struggled with mental health and addictions.

“He called him dad. He relied on him,” she said.

Schmidt said Braden was a victim of intimate partner violence.

Herman’s defence asked the judge to consider a sentence of four to six years. Four years is the minimum sentence for manslaughter with a gun.

The Mountie’s lawyer said Herman was physically, emotionally and sexually abused while attending day school in his youth.

“Overcoming adversity does not mean privilege,” his lawyer said.

The defence said Braden was the abuser — he blackmailed, threatened and got violent with the officer.

After both sides presented their arguments, Herman stood up and addressed the court.

“I would like to apologize to the court for time and resources wasted on this matter,” he said.

The judge reserved his sentencing decision until June 18. Top Stories

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