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'I shot Braden': Former partner describes text message from Sask. Mountie on trial for murder

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The former partner of a Saskatchewan Mountie charged with first-degree murder was the first to testify as the trial began on Monday in Prince Albert.

Bernie Herman, a 32-year member of the RCMP, is on trial in the Court of King’s Bench for the death of 26-year-old Braden Herman in May of 2021.

The two are not related. For clarity, the victim will be referred to by his first name.

The Crown opened its case by calling Bernie Herman’s partner, RCMP Const. Richard Wittal to the stand.

Wittal said on the night of the incident, Herman’s wife and daughter knocked on his door. He said Herman’s wife showed him a text message from Herman.

He told court the message said, “I shot Braden. It’s over and done with.”

When cross-examined, Wittal said Herman sometimes came to work with injuries such as a black eye and scratches “a number of times.”

The Mountie said Herman would sometimes meet with Braden in the Prince Albert RCMP detachment parking lot.

He said Herman would sometimes move his truck behind the station.

“He was scared of Braden seeing him,” Wittal said.

According to an agreed-upon statement of facts, Braden was shot with a pistol issued by the RCMP.

Court heard Herman was arrested at the home of staff sergeant Chad McLeod. He was wearing his RCMP uniform, vest and duty belt at the time.

RCMP Const. Jackson Goodfellow testified he was dispatched to McLeod’s home. Goodfellow said he was told “Bernie may have killed someone.”

Goodfellow said Herman left Mcleod’s home, hugged another officer at the scene, and then was taken into custody.

The crown submitted a 16-minute phone call into evidence on Monday.

At a voir dire hearing in October, court heard how Herman called McLeod and allegedly said he shot a man and ran him over.

During the call Herman reportedly told McLeod where to find the body, and McLeod’s wife called police. Court heard McLeod told Herman to “ditch” the gun and come over to his place.

The judge-alone trial is expected to run over the next two weeks.

Court resumes on Tuesday morning. 

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