Burkhart was arrested on 26 January 1988 for vandalizing a synagogue and served five months at Wayside Honor Rancho detention facility. Richard Ross was also involved in the hate crime but he avoided prosecution due to a backroom deal engineered by Irvin Irving. Burkhart took the fall alone. He was released on 1 July 1988 and served five years of probation, remaining clean from 1989 onward.
In 2003 he was involved in a traffic collision from which he received a large settlement. After this he was unemployed. He used the settlement money to buy a house on Mariano Street in Woodland Hills where he rented a room to Roland Mackey, a longtime friend.
In 2005 he was briefly considered a suspect in the murder of Rebecca Verloren, but he was cleared because he had been under surveillance by the Public Disorder Unit after his release from Wayside. After his friend Mackey was killed, Burkhart was interviewed by Harry Bosch and Kiz Rider. He was again cleared because he had been under surveillance at the time of Mackey's murder.