Bernie Herman took the stand at his own first degree murder trial Thursday at King’s Bench Court in Prince Albert.
The former RCMP officer is charged with shooting and killing Braden Herman in an isolated area of Little Red River Park in May of 2021.
During his testimony Bernie spoke about meeting Braden Herman on Facebook and how the two both had roots in La Loche. Bernie said while he was growing up he knew Braden’s father.
“We were friends,” he said.
Bernie said Braden would come over and watch hockey games and that the two would spend time together doing other things. Eventually Bernie said Braden was invited to move in, which he said went well at first, before Braden became abusive.
“It was okay,” he said.
Bernie admitted that him and Braden had a sexual relationship. However, he said that relationship was not always consensual and said that Braden would get violent with him when he refused him.
“He would assault me and force me to have sex with him,” said Bernie.
On May 11 2021, the day Braden was shot Bernie left work wearing his uniform and duty belt. He explained he had taken part in an all terrain vehicle training program and said his equipment and uniform were dirty and that he was going to take it all home to clean it.
Bernie testified Braden called him to pick him up, which Bernie did. As the two were driving around Bernie said they went through both the Tim Hortons and Dairy Queen drive thrus to get food and drinks. While going through the Dairy Queen drive thru Bernie said Braden pull down his own pants and pushed Bernie’s head in to his crotch and forced Bernie to give him oral sex.
Bernie said he was directed by Braden to drive out of the city to an isolated area around Little Red River Park. Eventually the two got out of the truck on the isolated trail, Bernie said Braden pushed him up against his truck and pushed his hands down his pants. Bernie said Braden got mad that Bernie didn’t have an erection and that he thought he saw Braden pick something up off the ground before hearing the sound of his gun going off.
Under questioning from his lawyer Bernie said he did not remember pulling his gun or firing. He said he doesn’t remember much about getting in contact with his supervisor and talking with him about what happened.
“I just remember saying I did something bad,” he said.
The trial is set to continue Thursday afternoon with the Crown cross examining Bernie.
(Top Photo: Supporters hold signs calling for Justice for Braden. Photo by Michael Joel-Hansen.)