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The ex-boyfriend of a famed family and sex therapist has been charged with murder after prosecutors said he threw her over a balcony at her Hollywood Hills apartment.
Gareth Pursehouse, 41, is now facing charges of murder, and first-degree residential burglary with a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait, according to a statement from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The addition of the special circumstance allegation now makes Pursehouse eligible for the death penalty, prosecutors said.
Pursehouse, a former boyfriend of the 38-year-old family therapist, is accused of breaking into Harwick’s house in the early morning hours Saturday and assaulting her before allegedly throwing her over a third story balcony during the altercation.
Los Angeles Police arrived at the scene around 1:16 a.m. after getting a report of a “woman screaming” and found Harwick “gravely injured” on the ground below the balcony, according to a statement from police. She later died from her injuries.
The Los Angeles Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office has ruled Harwick’s cause of death was due to “blunt force injuries of the head and torso,” according to a statement.
Sarah Ardalani, public information officer for the Los Angles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, told Oxygen.com that other significant conditions had been “evidence of manual strangulation.”
Harwick, who was once engaged to “Price is Right” host Drew Carey, had taken a restraining order out against Pursehouse, but it had expired shortly before her death.
According to friends of the therapist, Pursehouse had taken the couple’s breakup badly.
"He was a stalker. When they broke up he didn't take it well at all," her friend Rudy Torres told KABC. "He'd do stupid stuff and say stupid stuff. You'd tell him, 'Move on dude, leave her alone.' And he wouldn't."
Pursehouse was initially arrested Saturday and held on a $2 million bond, but was re-arrested and held on a no-bail warrant on Wednesday after prosecutors charged him with murder and burglary with the special circumstance of lying in wait.
Harwick, who authored the book “The New Sex Bible For Women,” and Carey announced their engagement in 2018, but ended the relationship later that same year.
“I hope you’re lucky enough to have someone in your life that loves as much as she did,” Carey recently wrote on Twitter along with a short video of the couple together.
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