(LOS ANGELES) — The ex-boyfriend of Hollywood therapist Dr. Amie Harwick was lying in wait before allegedly throwing her over a balcony to her death, prosecutors said.
Gareth Pursehouse, 41, was charged Wednesday with murder and residential burglary with the special circumstance allegation of lying in wait, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said.
Pursehouse could face the death penalty if convicted, prosecutors said, though a decision on whether to seek the death penalty has not yet been determined.
Harwick was allegedly killed in the early hours of Feb. 15. Around 1:15 a.m., officers in the Hollywood Hills responded to a radio call of a woman screaming, and Harwick’s roommate met them in the street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The roommate said Harwick was being assaulted, so he jumped a wall and went to a neighboring home to call for help, police said.
The 38-year-old therapist was found on the ground below a balcony at her Hollywood Hills home.
Harwick was a well-known marriage and family therapist who worked with people suffering from domestic violence, according to her website.
Harwick “recently expressed fear about a former boyfriend” who she had filed a restraining order against, according to police. The restraining order had since expired, police said.
Records show two restraining orders filed by Harwick against Pursehouse: one from 2011 and another from 2012.
Pursehouse is set to be arraigned on Thursday.
Drew Carey, who was previously engaged to Harwick, said in a statement Monday, “I am overcome with grief.”
Carey called Harwick “a positive force in the world, a tireless and unapologetic champion for women, and passionate about her work as a therapist.”
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