The first-degree murder trial of a former Mountie is set to begin in Prince Albert, Sask., today.
Bernie Herman was charged with first-degree murder in the death of 26-year-old Braden Herman in 2021.
The two are not related.
Braden Herman's body was found in an isolated area of Little Red River Park on the outskirts of Prince Albert that May.
Bernie Herman, who was a 32-year member of the RCMP, was arrested the same day.
Family members say Braden Herman was kind, caring and thoughtful.
"He was a very gentle person, a gentle giant,” said his older brother, Brett Herman.
“He was a big kid but he would never hurt a fly."
Brett Herman said he’s not sure how his brother and the RCMP officer first met each other. Family have said he and the officer grew up in neighbouring northern Saskatchewan communities — Braden Herman was from Clearwater River Dene Nation and Bernie Herman was from La Loche.
At some point, Braden Herman lived with the officer and his wife. But Braden Herman’s family say the relationship became emotionally and physically abusive, and he tried to stay away from the Mountie.
“He was always trying to avoid Bernie,” Brett Herman said of his younger brother.
Family have said the officer was able to use his position of authority to harass Braden Herman.
Insp. Craig Mushka with the Prince Albert police has said that on the day Braden Herman’s body was found, the accused called a co-worker and “made disturbing comments that he had killed someone.”
Police have also said Bernie Herman provided information on where to find the body.
After his arrest, Bernie Herman resigned from the police force, where he had most recently been working in the traffic services unit.
The judge-alone trial is set to take place at Court of King’s Bench in Prince Albert.