Amie Harwick's Ex Pleads Not Guilty to Murdering Sex Therapist Once Engaged to Drew Carey

Gareth Pursehouse is accused of strangling the marriage therapist and throwing her off her balcony on Feb. 15, say prosecutors

Amie Harwick
Amie Harwick. Photo: Amie Harwick/Instagram

The ex-boyfriend accused of killing Hollywood sex therapist Amie Harwick in February after allegedly strangling her and throwing her off her third-story balcony has pleaded not guilty to her murder.

Gareth Pursehouse, 41, of Playa del Rey, California, entered the not guilty plea on Thursday, multiple outlets including CBS Los Angeles, the Associated Press, and KOB4 report.

Pursehouse is charged with one count each of murder and first-degree residential burglary with the special circumstance allegation of lying in wait, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office says.

The special circumstance allegation of lying in wait makes the charge eligible for the death penalty, which prosecutors will decide on later, CBS Los Angeles reports.

Once engaged to comedian Drew Carey, Harwick was found dead on the brick-lined patio of her Hollywood Hills home just after 1 a.m. on Feb. 15, when her roommate on the basement level heard her screams for help.

Drew Carey Amie Harwick
Drew Carey and Amie Harwick. Instagram

Pursehouse, 41, allegedly broke into her house and was lying in wait for her when she arrived home that night after she was out celebrating Valentine’s Day with friends, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office says in court documents.

Harwick fought for her life, sustaining wounds on her fingers and hands “consistent with a combination of defense and assault-type wounds, suggestive of an altercation,” the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner says in its autopsy report.

Pursehouse was arrested on Feb. 15 at his home and released on $2 million bail before he was rearrested on Feb. 19 and ordered held without bond. He remains behind bars.

Gareth Pursehouse
Gareth Pursehouse. YouTube

His attorney did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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Harwick dated Pursehouse a decade ago but he allegedly remained obsessed with her, court documents show. When Harwick ended the relationship, Pursehouse allegedly began stalking and harassing her, prompting her to file two restraining orders against him.

She went on to become a licensed marriage and family therapist with a thriving practice in West Hollywood. Author of the 2014 book The Sex Bible for Women, Harwick was also an advocate for domestic violence victims.

Singer and actor Donovan Leitch, who met Harwick through their mutual friend, former Red Hot Chili Peppers member Dave Navarro, tells PEOPLE, “not only was she absolutely beautiful but also so smart and funny and a natural people person.”

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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