A man accused of attacking his ex-girlfriend, well-known Hollywood therapist Amie Harwick, has been charged with murder in connection with her death and was re-arrested after being released on $2 million bond, officials said.
Gareth Pursehouse , 41, of Playa del Rey, also faces a first-degree burglary charge and a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The charges make him eligible for the death penalty and he is now being held without bail after being re-arrested Wednesday.
Harwick, 38, died on Feb. 15 after being found below a third-floor balcony at her home in Hollywood Hills.
She had “expressed fear” about her former boyfriend, police said. She had applied for two orders of protection against him, according to the Los Angeles Times.
A longtime friend of the victim, Eric Breslow, told KTLA that Harwick had dated Pursehouse about seven or eight years ago and that the suspect had become “obsessed” with her.
Police responded to Harwick’s home in the 2000 block of Mounds Street early Saturday after getting a call about a woman screaming.
Officers found Harwick’s roommate in the street and he told them that she was being assaulted inside the home. The roommate apparently jumped a wall and ran into a neighboring home for help, police said. Officers found the badly injured woman under the balcony and took her to a hospital where she later died. An autopsy revealed she died of blunt force injuries to her head and torso.
Officers found signs of a struggle upstairs and evidence that someone had forced themselves into the home and left after the fall.
Pursehouse was arrested on suspicion of murder in Playa Del Rey hours after the alleged attack.
Police haven’t released details about what exactly led to Harwick’s death or how they zeroed in on Pursehouse.
Harwick was a Playboy model before starting a practice specializing in psychotherapy and sex therapy and was previously engaged to actor Drew Carey.
Pursehouse is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, officials said.
KTLA’s Kristina Bravo contributed to this story.