Amie Harwick's ex-boyfriend charged with murder, faces death penalty

Dr. Amie Harwick's ex-boyfriend, Gareth Pursehouse, has been arrested again and charged with her murder. He allegedly broke in and attacked Harwick, who was once engaged to Drew Carey, and threw her off a third-story balcony at her home in the Hollywood Hills.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced Pursehouse has been charged with one count each of murder and first-degree residential burglary with the special circumstance allegation of lying in wait, making him eligible for the death penalty. Murder by means of lying in wait is a type of criminal homicide in which the perpetrator hides and waits for the unsuspecting victim with the intent to kill that person. Police said there was evidence of forced entry and a struggle inside Harwick's home.

Pursehouse was identified as investigators located surveillance footage of the suspect entering and leaving the property. He was arrested on suspicion of murder Saturday afternoon and posted $2 million bond. He was re-arrested Wednesday on a no-bail warrant.

Pursehouse faces the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted as charged. A decision on whether to seek capital punishment will be made at a later date, the D.A.'s office said.

Harwick, a well-known family and sex therapist in Hollywood, dated Pursehouse nearly a decade ago and was the victim of domestic violence. She first filed for a restraining order in June 2011. The documents, obtained by TMZ, detailed horrific allegations. In one instance, Harwick claimed he "choked me, suffocated me, pushed me against walls, kicked me, dropped me to the ground with force ... slammed my head into the ground, and punched me with a closed fist." Her injuries were documented.

In April 2012, Harwick filed for another restraining order claiming Pursehouse broke into her apartment, smashed 10 picture frames and texted her, "things will get worse." The order was granted for three years.

The LAPD said Harwick saw Pursehouse two weeks before her death. Her close friend claimed to Page Six he "stalked and threatened" her at a porn awards show hosted by Stormy Daniels a few weeks ago.

"Amie told me after the incident that she was scared he would show up at her home," former adult-film star Jasmin St. Claire told the outlet. "She went to the police, but they did not take it seriously. He was really obsessive over her; controlling."

The LAPD said Monday detectives learned that Harwick "had recently expressed fear about a former boyfriend and had previously filed a restraining order against this person." Police noted the restraining order expired.

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s office announced Harwick's cause of death Tuesday, revealing she died as a result of blunt force injuries of the head and torso. It was noted that she received the injuries when she "fell from a balcony after altercation" and that there was "evidence of manual strangulation."

Pursehouse, 41, is expected to be arraigned Thursday. Harwick was 38.

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