The former Saskatchewan Mountie with over 30 years of service was originally charged with first-degree murder last December for the death of 26-year-old Braden Herman. 

Although Braden and Bernie Herman have the same last name, the two are not related. 

In May 2021, Braden’s naked body was found in a remote area of Little Red River Park just outside of Prince Albert with a single gunshot wound. 

At trial, the court heard that the two men drove to an isolated area of the park together, and an argument broke out. Moments later, Braden was shot outside of Bernie’s truck. 

Bernie stated that he acted out of self-defense and was found guilty of manslaughter in January; he has been in custody since. 

In April, Bernie was expected to receive his sentence, but due to varying ideas of what an appropriate sentence would be, that decision was pushed back to today. 

The defense was seeking 4-6 years in prison, while the Crown asked the courts to sentence Bernie to life for killing Braden. 

The Crown admitted a life sentence was “high ask,” but argued this was “as close to a murder” that you could get in the legal system, calling it “near murder.” 

Today, friends and family of both Bernie and Braden gathered at the Court of Kings Bench one last time to hear the final decision. 

“The gravity of this offense could not be higher,” said Justice G.A. Meschishnick. 

The feeling in the air was tense as Meschishnick ordered Bernie to rise. 

Bernie has been sentenced to 11 years for committing the crime of manslaughter. He spent 295 days in remand, which the court credited towards his sentence. As of today, the remaining sentence to be served is 3,720 days. 

Outside of court, following sentencing Braden’s brother, Brett Herman spoke to the media and stated that he would have liked to see a life sentence for Bernie. 

“I lost somebody that I’m not ever going to get back, so it’s just not fair,’ said Brett Herman. 

Corrections Service Canada operates four healing lodges and funds six others, which are specifically designed for Indigenous offenders. CSC will conduct its own risk assessment of Bernie and place him in an appropriate institution, which may be one of the healing lodges. 

The Crown has appealed the conviction, and the case will now go to their appellate lawyers to take up the file.