LA man denies killing ex, prominent family therapist

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles man pleaded not guilty Thursday to killing his ex-girlfriend, a prominent family therapist and former fiancee of comedian Drew Carey, prosecutors said.

Dr. Amie Harwick died Feb. 15 after she was thrown over the third-floor balcony of her Hollywood Hills apartment, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said. An autopsy determined she had been strangled first.

Gareth Pursehouse, 41, was charged with one count each of murder and first-degree residential burglary with the special circumstance allegation of lying in wait, prosecutors said.

The defendant was initially arrested shortly after Harwick’s death and posted $2 million bond. He was re-arrested this week on a no bail warrant.

Detectives learned Harwick had expressed fear about an ex-boyfriend and had previously filed a restraining order against him, according to a police statement. The restraining order had expired.

Harwick’s website described her as a marriage and sex therapist. She appeared on TV and radio and wrote a book called “The New Sex Bible for Women.”

Carey dated Harwick, 38, for two years before the pair split in 2018, months after announcing their engagement.

Pursehouse was ordered to return to court on June 24.

The special circumstance allegation of lying in wait makes Pursehouse eligible for the death penalty. A decision on whether to seek capital punishment will be made at a later date, prosecutors said.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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