Gareth Pursehouse, the former boyfriend of Dr. Amie Harwick, has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of the Hollywood therapist. A jury delivered the verdict after seven hours of deliberation in downtown Los Angeles. Pursehouse could face a life sentence without the possibility of parole under California law. He is scheduled to be sentenced on December 6.
Dr. Amie Harwick, a well-known family and sex therapist and former fiancée of Drew Carey, was thrown from the third-floor balcony of her Hollywood Hills home on February 15, 2020. She was found unresponsive but still alive and later died in a local hospital. The autopsy report revealed that Harwick’s cause of death was blunt force injuries from the fall, with “manual strangulation” also noted.
Pursehouse had a history of obsession with Harwick and had previously been subject to a restraining order filed by her in 2012. The order had expired, and the former couple had some contact in the weeks leading up to Harwick’s death. Pursehouse was arrested shortly after her death but was released on bail. He was re-arrested on February 19, 2020, and has been held in County jail since then.
The trial, which began on August 29, was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and court backlog. Prosecutors had to prove intent and malice to secure a first-degree murder conviction, as there is no felony murder charge under California law. The jury’s decision confirms that the prosecution successfully met this challenge.
The sentencing of Gareth Pursehouse is set to take place on December 6.