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Crime News Breaking News

Amie Harwick, Slain Sex Therapist, Fought Attacker Before Being Pushed Off Balcony, Autopsy Reportedly Shows

Injuries on Harwick’s hands showed that an altercation took place before the fatal fall, according to a coroner's report.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt
7 Facts about Domestic and Intimate Partner Sexual Violence

Slain sex therapist Amie Harwick put up a fight before she was overpowered and killed, her autopsy reportedly reveals.

Harwick, 38, died in February after allegedly being thrown from the third-floor balcony of her Hollywood Hills home. Authorities arrived on the scene after Harwick’s roommate called to report that she was being assaulted, and a man later identified as ex-boyfriend Gareth Pursehouse, 41, was arrested for her murder.

An autopsy report completed by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner suggests that Harwick put up a fight before her death, The Blast reports. Her hands and fingers were injured, and there were “abrasions and contusions” on her shoulders, elbow, and arm, which investigators say were “consistent with a combination of defense and assault-type wounds, suggestive of an altercation.”

Harwick’s death was quickly ruled a homicide, with her cause of death being listed as “blunt force injuries to her head and torso,” officials previously said. They said then that her body also showed “evidence of manual strangulation,” and investigators elaborated on that point in the autopsy report, according to The Blast. There were injuries to Harwick’s neck, “particularly strap muscle hemorrhage,” that suggested manual strangulation, while “severe injuries of her brain, liver, and pelvis” pointed to the fatal fall from her balcony.

Amie Harwick G

Harwick died from her injuries after being transported to a hospital, and Pursehouse was arrested the same day, the Los Angeles Police Department said. He was released after posting $2 million bond, but then arrested again on a no-bail warrant. He was then charged with murder and first-degree residential burglary with a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait, according to a release issued by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. If convicted, he faces either life in prison without parole or the death penalty, but prosecutors have not yet decided if they will seek a death sentence for Pursehouse, according to the office.

Harwick had obtained a restraining order against Pursehouse on two separate occasions, claiming in court documents that he assaulted her multiple times, once even pushing her out of a moving vehicle, The Daily Beast reports. Before her death, Harwick had “expressed fear” about a former partner she’d gotten a restraining order against in the past but which, by then, had expired, according to police. She’d also seen that person, who the release did not name, just two weeks before she was killed.

Harwick, a sex therapist, was previously engaged to “The Price Is Right” host Drew Carey, who mourned his ex on social media and during a moving episode of his SiriusXM radio show earlier this year. Carey, in tears, shared a playlist that he made for her while they were together, and described her as a “beautiful person who didn’t deserve to die like she did.”

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