Man accused of killing boyfriend makes first appearance in Lee County court

Reporter: Jolena Esperto Writer: Nicholas Karsen
Published: Updated:

Christopher Davis, who stands accused of killing his boyfriend Barry Schmalbach, is now in the Lee County Jail.

The news of his extradition Thursday comes almost exactly five months since Cape Coral Police charged Davis with Schmalbach’s murder and issued an arrest warrant.

Davis appeared in court at 10 a.m. on to be formally charged. A bond hearing was pushed until Friday.

Davis did speak in court, saying, “I haven’t been able to go to the bathroom for hours this morning, stuck inside a shower.”

Davis tried to plead with the judge about conditions he claimed he was dealing with while being held in detention.

He said he was in fear for his life, held under psychiatric care and suicide watch.

The judge told Davis he couldn’t help with any of that and all he was there to do was postpone the first appearance for 24 hours, which the judge did.

Davis had been sitting in a South Carolina jail for unrelated charges; however, he has been made the prime suspect in the 2023 missing Schmalbach case.

Schmalbach’s body has not yet been located by detectives and forensics.

Davis was booked into the Lee County Jail at around 1:45 a.m. on Thursday and now faces around 18 charges, including murder, tampering with evidence and fraud.

The Cape Coral Police Department claims that they have collected an enormous amount of evidence linking Davis to the murder of Schmalbach, stating that his involvement in the case stems back to January.

“Detectives and forensics personnel have been investigating, collecting a massive amount of physical evidence, obtaining witness statements, collecting and examining digital forensic evidence and working with the prosecutors from the State Attorney’s Office all along the way,” said Cape Coral Police Chief Anthony Sizemore.

Tom Wilson a friend of Schmalbach spoke to WINK News last year soon after his disappearance, and suspected Davis was somehow behind his friend’s disappearance.

“On Saturday morning, Christopher was texting [a friend], sharing screenshots of supposed conversations between he and Barry,” said Wilson. “At that moment, we know something was wrong because the comments were not Barry … nothing that Barry would say.”

Police have also stated that Davis has not been cooperative with detectives.

According to the CCPD, Davis reportedly last saw Schmalbach on July 19 in the vicinity of Beach Parkway in Cape Coral, where the couple shared an apartment.

The bond hearing has been rescheduled for Friday.

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