Man convicted of murdering victim whose body he dumped in Angeles National Forest

A jury deliberated for two days before finding a Burbank man guilty of murdering a Glendale resident and burying the body in a shallow grave in the Angeles National Forest four years ago.

Donald Thurman, 30, was convicted Friday of first-degree murder in the death of 25-year-old Nicholas Carter. According to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, the jury also found that the murder was committed for financial gain.

Carter was last seen on Jan. 7, 2013, watching a football game with a friend. He also posted on his Facebook account later that evening.

His body was discovered 12 days later in a shallow grave near Big Tujunga Canyon Road in the Angeles National Forest.

An earlier attempt to find Carter was unsuccessful after a hiker reported encountering a shallow grave on Jan. 8. In that search, investigators were unable to find a body.

Carter’s body ended up being several hundred yards away from where the hiker initially reported the grave.

Authorities said Thurman and another Burbank resident, 26-year-old Erik Pearson, beat Carter to death and stole his credit cards.

Officials with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department described Carter as a “normal guy,” who didn’t have a questionable background that would result in his murder. According to a Facebook page attributed to Carter, he studied business management economics at UC Santa Cruz.

For his part in the crime, Pearson pleaded guilty to the murder in May.

The two face life in prison for the crime and are both scheduled to be sentenced July 17.

Twitter: @Andy_Truc

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