Former boyfriend of Amie Harwick charged with murder; re-arrested after bailing out of jail

Amie Harwick attends the "Rock To Recovery" benefit at the Fonda Theatre in October 2016 in Los Angeles.
Amie Harwick attends the “Rock To Recovery” benefit at the Fonda Theatre in October 2016 in Los Angeles.
(Paul Archuleta / Getty Images)

The former boyfriend of prominent marriage and family therapist Amie Harwick has been charged with one count of murder and was re-arrested Wednesday after bailing out of jail Tuesday night.

Prosecutors allege that Gareth Pursehouse, 41, of Playa del Rey killed Harwick shortly after 1 a.m. Feb. 15 in the 2000 block of Mound Street. When police arrived at her Hollywood Hills home, they found Harwick on the ground below a balcony.

Pursehouse also faces one count of first-degree residential burglary with the special circumstance allegation of lying in wait, making him eligible for the death penalty, prosecutors said Wednesday evening.


Harwick, a well-known marriage and family therapist, ran into Pursehouse last month at a professional event that she was attending and he was assigned to photograph. Beverly Hills sex therapist Hernando Chaves, a close friend who was with Harwick at the event, said the chance encounter seemed to “reignite his obsessive preoccupation with her.”

Pursehouse was arrested Saturday on suspicion of murder and had been in jail on $2-million bail. After posting bond, he was released Tuesday night. He was arrested again 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, according to the district attorney’s office.

Harwick applied for restraining orders against Pursehouse twice after alleging that he repeatedly harassed her after she broke up with him, court records show.

Times staff writers Jaclyn Cosgrove and Hannah Fry contributed to this report.