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Sask. Mountie accused of murder sometimes slept in same room as his alleged victim, wife says

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Prince Albert -

Taking the stand in his trial, the wife of a former Saskatchewan RCMP officer painted a picture of a turbulent relationship between the Mountie and the man he's accused of murdering.

Bernie Herman was a 32-year member of the RCMP when he allegedly murdered 26-year-old Braden Herman in May of 2021. The two are not related.

Herman is charged with first-degree murder in Braden's death.

An investigator with the Prince Albert Police Service testified that after his death, Braden was found completely nude, wearing only sunglasses near Prince Albert's Little Red River Park.

Janice Herman, Bernie Herman’s wife, told court that Braden often came over to watch hockey with Herman in early 2018. She said Braden moved into their basement a few months later.

She said sometimes Herman would sleep with Braden in his bedroom.

“Braden said he had anxiety and needed someone to sleep with,” Janice told court.

She said Braden seemed jealous and didn’t like it when Herman showed her affection. Janice claimed as time went on, Braden became aggressive and would “push” Herman around "if he didn't get attention."

She said the living situation was taking a toll on her marriage.

“It hurt,” she said.

According to Janice, in February of 2019, she told Braden to find somewhere else to live and packed up his belongings.

She said Braden started harassing her family and breaking into her home.

“He would just break in,” she said.

“The first thing he did was break my wedding picture."

She alleged Braden kicked her in the face and broke her glasses three times.

Court heard that Janice eventually sought a no-contact order against Braden.

Two photos were introduced as evidence, where Janice can be seen with her arm around Braden. She confirmed the photos were taken after the non-contact order was in place.

Another witness testified, that Braden and Janice would sometimes ”hang out” at the casino and the bars in the city.

Court heard, on the morning of Braden’s death, Janice met up with him at a friend’s house.

She said Braden was on the phone with her husband and that she heard Braden say "Holy, it sounds like you want to kill me.”

Janice said she went home after that.

Herman’s daughter also took the stand on Tuesday, testifying that Braden and dad appeared to have a “father-son” relationship at first and said later on "things got weird."

She said Braden and Herman would hold hands and sleep in the same room.

On Monday, 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.”

In his testimony, Wittal recounted how 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.

Braden was fatally shot with an RCMP-issued gun, according to an agreed-upon statement of facts.

On Monday, court heard Herman was wearing his uniform, vest and duty belt when he was arrested shortly after Braden's death.

Tuesday marked the second day of Herman's judge-alone trial which is scheduled for two weeks. 

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