A South Florida man who targeted gay
men for robbery and ultimately confessed to the killing of a gay
senior was sentenced to death on Friday, gay weekly the South
Florida Blade reported.
In February, a Broward County jury
convicted Eric Kurt Patrick, 46, of the first-degree murder of Steven
Schumacher, a 72-year-old gay man. Circuit Judge Ilona Holmes
sentenced Patrick to death on Friday.
Patrick was just coming off a nine year
prison sentence for carjacking when he began targeting gay men in
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. He smoked crack
cocaine while the senior lay dying in the bathtub, prosecutor Shari
Patrick befriended his victim 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.