Dr. Amie Harwick: Ex-Boyfriend Accused of Murder May Face Death Penalty

After Hollywood sex and marriage therapist Dr. Amy Harwick's ex-boyfriend was re-arrested and charged for her murder this week, he now faces extra charges that could include the death penalty. Gareth Pursehouse, 41, is being held without bail after being charged with lying in wait and first-degree burglary as well as murder, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Harwick, 38, died on Saturday after police found her beneath a third-floor balcony of her Hollywood Hills apartment with injuries consistent with a fall. Penthouse had previously been released on $2 million bond after his initial arrest hours after her death.

The special circumstance allegation of lying in wait means that he is eligible for a death penalty sentence in California if he is convicted. He could also face life in prison without the possibility of parole. The DA's office said a decision about them seeking capital punishment would be made later.

Harwick was discovered in the early hours of Saturday morning after police responded to a domestic disturbance call. Her roommate met police, who said that she was being assaulted inside her own home. She was later found under a third-story balcony with injuries consistent with a fall from that height. After being transported to a hospital, she later died.

Investigators searching the home found "possible evidence of a struggle in the upstairs as well as forced entry into the residence," CBS Los Angeles reports.

On Tuesday, her cause of death was ruled as blunt force injuries of the head and torso, with the Los Angeles medical examiner adding that there was also "evidence of manual strangulation." The report considers Harwick's death a homicide and indicates that manual strangulation was a secondary cause of death.


Harwick, who was previously engaged to The Price Is Right host Drew Carey, "had recently expressed fear about a former boyfriend and had previously filed a restraining order," according to a news release.

The therapist had been awarded two restraining orders against Pursehouse in 2011. The Los Angeles Times reports that the first order was dismissed after Harwick failed to show up for a follow-up hearing, but she was later granted a new order that was extended in 2012 and expired two weeks before her death.