A South Florida man who targeted gay men for robbery and ultimately confessed to the killing of a gay senior may face the death penalty when a Broward County jury decides his fate in May, reports gay weekly the South Florida Blade.

Eric Kurt Patrick, 45, was just coming off a nine year prison sentence for carjacking when he began targeting gay men in September of 2005.

Steven Schumacher's body was found on Sept. 27, his wrists and ankles hog-tied and his mouth gagged with a rag, inside the bathtub of his Oakland Park apartment. Investigators say Patrick beat and strangled the gay senior to death.

Patrick befriended Schumacher at the Cubby Hole, a gay bar in Fort Lauderdale, about a week before the murder. He made off with a 2000 Ford Ranger pick-up truck and an ATM card, but didn't get far. Police investigators quickly caught up with their suspect, who was arrested on Sept. 28, shortly after the police discovered the body. Patrick confessed his crime to investigators but did not give a reason, Broward Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Veda Coleman-Wright said.

Patrick, who has a tattoo of a swastika and a snake on his back, told the police that he had been targeting gay men to rob them since leaving prison a month earlier.

A Broward County jury convicted Patrick of first-degree murder on Friday. A decision on his punishment – death or life in prison – is expected shortly after a May 11 recommendation from jurors.

On the Net: Gay weekly South Florida Blade is at www.floridablade.com