Trial begins for former Prince Albert RCMP officer accused of murder

Bernie Herman leaves the Court of King’s Bench following the opening day of his first degree murder trial. Herman is accused of killing Braden Herman, no relation, in May 2021. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

The trial of former Prince Albert RCMP officer charged with first degree murder began with four witnesses on Monday, and ended early after a fifth witness was unable to attend court due to unexpected travel difficulties.

Crown prosecutor Jennifer Schmidt called four police officers to the stand before asking for an early end to day one after a fifth witness was unable to make it to Prince Albert from Ottawa.

Bernie Herman, 54, has more than 30 years of experience with the RCMP. He is accused of killing 26-year-old Braden Herman, no relation. Braden’s body was found in an isolated area in the northern outskirts of Prince Albert on May 11, 2021. Bernie submitted his resignation shortly after he was charged.

Monday’s afternoon session included only one witness: Const. Dan Logan, a 17-year veteran of the Prince Albert Police Service, and member of the department’s Forensic Identification Team. Logan was called in to photograph Herman while he was in custody. He also took photos of the crime scene and Herman’s vehicle, which was parked at an acquaintance’s house.

Logan testified that Herman’s hands showed small nicks on them, but otherwise he appeared to have no injuries. Logan also testified that investigators discovered a shell casing at the site where Braden’s body was found, but discovered no man-made weapons.

Logan described the site as “basically a bush trail” that was littered with garbage, condoms, needles, and cigarette butts. Logan said it appeared to be a place people frequently gathered at.

Logan spent most of his time pointing out various pieces of evidence he photographed during the investigation. His testimony took less than one hour.

Roughly 26 people attended Tuesday afternoon’s proceedings, not including security or media. Bernie Herman sat quietly in the defendant box during the afternoon session wearing a red shirt with a collar and black pants.

The trial is adjourned until Tuesday morning.