RIVERSIDE – After a six-week trial, a Riverside County jury today, March 14, 2019, found a Riverside man guilty of a 2016 murder and several other charges involving a $600,000 auto loan fraud scheme.
Dante Danil Carter, DOB 9-24-81, was convicted of one count of first-degree murder and jurors also found both the special circumstance of lying in wait and the allegation of the personal use of a firearm to be true. Jurors also convicted Carter of 28 additional counts including being a felon in possession of weapons and ammunition, possession of a fake ID, grand theft, identity theft, and aggravated white collar crime.
Carter is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Steven Counelis on May 17, 2019, in Dept. 43 at the Hall of Justice in Riverside. He is expected to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the Nov. 11, 2016, murder of Eric Burniston.
Carter operated a $600,000 fraudulent auto loan scheme in which he used the identities of young people he met through the local car scene to apply for auto loans from credit unions. Rather than purchasing a car, he would instead deposit the checks into accounts that appeared to belong to auto dealerships, but actually were controlled by him. He also used victims’ identities to obtain vehicles and apartments for himself and his girlfriends.
Eric Burniston, 21, of Long Beach, was one of the individuals who had his identity used by Carter for this scheme. As authorities were beginning to investigate the fraud scheme, Carter lured Burniston in the middle of the night to a remote neighborhood in an unincorporated area south of the Dos Lagos shopping center in Corona with the promise of paying him back the money that Carter owed him. Carter shot the victim in the back of the head and left his body lying in the street. Prosecutors were able to use forensic cell phone evidence to track Carter’s movements and place him at the scene of the crime at the time of the murder.
The case was initially investigated by the Riverside County sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit then by District Attorney Investigators Steven Paixao and Angela Carranza.
The case, RIF1880136, was prosecuted by Deputy DA Alma Hernandez of the DA’s Gang Trial Team and Deputy DA David Allen of the DA’s Financial Crimes Team.