RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A Riverside man was found guilty Thursday of murder in the 2016 shooting death of another man whose identity he was using to execute a $600,000 auto loan fraud scam, prosecutors said.
After a six-week trial, 37-year-old Dante Danil Carter was convicted of first-degree murder and 28 other counts involving grand theft, identity theft, aggravated white collar crime, possession of a fake ID and being a felon in possession of weapons and ammunition, Riverside County district attorney’s officials said in a news release.
Jurors also found true an allegation that Carter had been lying in wait when he shot and killed 21-year-old Eric Burniston in November 2016.
Carter met Burniston and several other young people through the local car scene, then used their personal information to carry out the loan fraud, officials said.
He would apply for auto loans from credit unions, but instead of buying a car, he deposited the money into accounts he controlled and tried to mask as belonging to dealerships.
Prosecutors said Carter also used the victims’ identities to obtain vehicles and apartments for himself and his girlfriends.
Authorities were already investigating Carter’s activities when he allegedly lured Burniston to a remote area south of Corona’s Dos Lagos shopping center in the middle of the night on Nov. 11, 2016, officials said.
Carter owed Burniston money and said he was going to pay him back, but instead shot Burniston in the back of the head and left him to bleed out in the middle of the street, according to prosecutors.
Cellphone evidence allowed investigators to tie Carter to the crime scene.
Carter is scheduled to be sentenced May 17, when he will face a maximum penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole.