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Judge sentences former Saskatchewan Mountie to 11 years in shooting death of lover

Click to play video: 'Judge sentences former Saskatchewan Mountie to 11 years in shooting death of lover'
Judge sentences former Saskatchewan Mountie to 11 years in shooting death of lover
WATCH: A former Mountie convicted of shooting his lover learned his fate in a Prince Albert court room today. Brooke Kruger has more on the sentence and the message it sends. – Jun 18, 2024

Former RCMP officer Bernie Herman was given an 11-year sentence Tuesday afternoon for killing 26-year-old Braden Herman in 2021.

The two men were not related and were having an intimate relationship before Braden Herman’s naked body was found in a park on the outskirts of Prince Albert.

Bernie Herman testified that he fired the gun that killed Braden Herman but felt threatened.

The judge said on Tuesday that there was an element of self-defence to Bernie Herman’s actions, saying there was an “immediate threat of bodily harm.”

Click to play video: 'Crown suggests life sentence for Sask. Mountie who killed lover'
Crown suggests life sentence for Sask. Mountie who killed lover

Court heard in the trial that Bernie Herman was abused by Braden Herman who was at least half his age.

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“He’s a good-hearted person,” Braden Herman’s brother Brett said after the sentencing Tuesday. “He’s definitely not what he is being portrayed to be.”

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The judge said on Tuesday that there was no evidence Braden Herman was abused, despite the Crown’s case.

He said that even though Bernie Herman was “consistently abused and blackmailed” by Braden Herman, he chose to stay in the relationship.

“Mr. Herman was in a trap of his own making,” the judge said.

He said Bernie Herman’s “moral compass” was always pointed in the right direction until the day Braden Herman died.

“He left his moral compass in his pocket and got lost,” the judge said.

Prosecutor Jennifer Schmidt said the Crown has already appealed the manslaughter conviction and is looking for a more severe punishment.

Click to play video: '‘My gun went off’: Saskatchewan Mountie accused of killing lover in park testifies'
‘My gun went off’: Saskatchewan Mountie accused of killing lover in park testifies

“We know that intimate partner violence is a huge problem in our province,” Schmidt said. “And what Bernie Herman did in killing Braden Herman, there can be no mistake, was the ultimate act of domestic violence. There is no sentence in recognizing that.”

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She argued for a life sentence for Bernie Herman during sentencing submissions.

The court said Bernie Herman may be allowed to serve his sentence at a healing lodge, as being a former RCMP officer in prison can be dangerous, according to defence lawyer Darren Kraushaar.

“I expect they will want to keep an eye out for him,” Kraushaar said. “That’s one of the factors that we had in the case law, obviously when you are a police officer you’re potentially at higher risk and have a target on your back.”

Corrections Service Canada will be conducting a risk assessment of Bernie Herman’s case and decide where he will serve his sentence.

Brett Herman said the sentence isn’t enough.

“Nothing will ever bring my brother back and no sentence will be right,” he said.

— with files from The Canadian Press

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