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Amie Harwick’s killer “sought after to make a observation via killing her on Valentine’s Day,” says prosecutor

It is been nearly 4 years since Hollywood therapist Amie Harwick used to be murdered on Feb. 15, 2020. For the primary time, the person who attempted to save lots of her opens up about what came about.

Harwick’s roommate, Michael Herman, can by no means erase the reminiscences of what came about to his pal within the early morning hours after Valentine’s Day 2020.

“I take into accout considering like that is such a lot worse than any horror film I have ever observed,” Herman tells “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty. “I simply used to be, uh, woken up via screaming … like bloodcurdling scream … And I yelled up, , ‘Amie!’ And I heard choking proper after that.”

Herman used to be in a downstairs bed room when the assault came about. He used to be not able to seek out his telephone and ran to their next-door neighbor’s space to get lend a hand, however there used to be no solution. He used to be after all in a position to make use of the telephone of a stranger in the street. 

“I used to be so happy with her and what she’s completed,” Tom Harwick stated of his daughter Amie.

Robert Coshland


When LAPD officials arrived, they came upon Harwick gravely injured underneath her third-story balcony. On her balcony, there used to be a unusual clue: a syringe stuffed with a mysterious yellowish-brown substance. There used to be no signal of Harwick’s attacker, however investigators later came upon proof of an outsider – a shattered window of a French door. Harwick died on the sanatorium.

“She’s long gone and I am nonetheless right here,” says Herman.

“Michael Herman has a large number of survivor’s guilt,” Moriarty tells Harwick’s folks.

“Oh, my goodness,” Penny Harwick says, “He did the precise proper factor.”

Tom Harwick provides, “He made the entire proper selections.”

A VIOLENT DEATH IN THE HOLLYWOOD HILLS

POLICE OFFICER (bodycam video to Michael Herman): Sit. Sit.

POLICE OFFICER (to Amie Harwick): Ma’am.

MICHAEL HERMAN: Oh, my God.

POLICE OFFICER: We — we want — we want an ambulance. … Ma’am, what came about to you?

Within the early morning darkness of Feb. 15, 2020, police frame cameras had been recording as Amie Harwick – slightly clinging to lifestyles out of doors of her Hollywood Hills house – used to be taken to a sanatorium.

POLICE OFFICER (bodycam video): If she says the rest within the sanatorium, we want to know that.

As EMTs attempted to save lots of Amie, officials from the Los Angeles Police Division attempted to make sense of the scene. Amie’s roommate, Michael Herman, gave the impression to be the one witness. He advised the officials an outsider had attacked Amie.

MICHAEL HERMAN (bodycam video): I swear to you that used to be a battle I heard.

Erin Moriarty: However is there any signal of the intruder?

Det. Scott Masterson: There wasn’t. There wasn’t.

Scott Masterson used to be the lead detective.

Det. Scott Masterson: All we knew once we confirmed up used to be {that a} feminine used to be discovered at the flooring behind the home. … We are huge open to … what actually went on.

Even open to the chance that this wasn’t foul play in any respect. When officials searched the three-story space, they discovered Amie’s handbag, jacket and damaged necklace at the surface — no longer precisely tell-tale indicators of a criminal offense — and a discovery on Amie’s balcony made them wonder whether this may have been an twist of fate and even suicide.

Det. Scott Masterson: At the deck of the balcony, we discovered … a medium-size syringe and it used to be loaded with a yellowish-brown substance.

POLICE OFFICER (bodycam video): Yeah, it is heroin.

Erin Moriarty When the officials first noticed that they concept, what? Used to be this some more or less drug deal?

Det. Scott Masterson: Yeah, precisely … or possibly she used to be the usage of medicine and fell over. …They did not know.

POLICE OFFICER (bodycam video): Sir, are you aware her historical past of drug use?

MICHAEL HERMAN: No, she’s sober. She does not drink. She did not even drink.

POLICE OFFICER: She does not drink?

MICHAEL HERMAN: She does not even drink. She’s sober.

Det. Scott Masterson: And after I first noticed it, I stated, “That is not heroin.”

Now not heroin. However Masterson did not know what it used to be.

Erin Moriarty: However what did you assume? Wasn’t that ordinary?

Det. Scott Masterson: Very ordinary. Very unusual.

And really unusual to investigators, says Masterson, used to be that Herman had blood on his blouse. Even though he stated he used to be a roommate, he did not have his keys to the home when first responders arrived.

Det. Scott Masterson: They do not know if he is a part of the issue, a part of the answer.

POLICE OFFICER (bodycam video): He could be a suspect, dude, as a result of he is were given blood on him.

Det. Scott Masterson: So, , they are … considering, “Used to be he in a struggle along with her?”

Michael Herman talks in regards to the night time of Amie Harwick’s demise and the way he attempted to save lots of her with “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty. “She’s long gone and I am nonetheless right here,” stated Herman.

CBS Information


That used to be no longer true. Herman is telling his tale publicly for the primary time in regards to the occasions at the night time of Valentine’s Day 2020 and into the early hours of day after today.

Erin Moriarty: The phrase nightmare is not even a large sufficient phrase, is it?

Michael Herman: (shakes his head) No, no …

Amie had long gone out with buddies and Herman used to be in his downstairs bed room.

Michael Herman: I would been most commonly nodding off and on, I take into accout what gave the impression of a plate losing, being woken up via it.

Pondering it used to be Amie’s cat, he says he fell again asleep. He later awoke to Amie returning house and that bloodcurdling scream. He then heard what gave the impression of Amie being thrown to the ground, and later, choked.

Erin Moriarty: The sound made you’re feeling that there used to be anyone up along with her.

Michael Herman: I knew — I knew for a truth there used to be any person up there after that. … I am looking to pay attention … you do not know evidently what is going on … Used to be he performing by myself? Used to be there a couple of individual? … I get started dashing to search for my telephone.

However Herman says he could not in finding his telephone. He then began yelling to scare the intruder.

Michael Herman: I take into accout considering like that is such a lot worse than any horror film I have ever observed … you are knowing that to save lots of her like … you might have gotta …make the verdict to go away her … it used to be this sort of exhausting determination.

A safety digicam at at house subsequent door presentations Michael Herman knocking at the neighbor’s door.

Awesome Court docket of California, County of Los Angeles


Herman fled the home to get lend a hand, but if he were given to the entrance gate, it used to be locked. He climbed over a fence, reducing himself on spiked rods. Frantically, he ran to the next-door neighbor’s space. That neighbor’s surveillance digicam presentations Herman knocking at the door, however no person solutions.

Michael Herman: I simply … more or less panicked, , feeling like a large number of time had already handed.

He then bumped into anyone in the street and used their telephone to name 911.

MICHAEL HERMAN (to 911): You guys want to get a cop right here fast.

911 DISPATCHER: Sir, the officials are at the manner.

After spending hours on the scene, investigators discovered one thing within the mild of day that that they had overlooked ahead of: a damaged window from a French door at the flooring surface with blood close by.

 Within the mild of day, investigators noticed a damaged glass panel at the French doorways of Harwick’s house. “Once we noticed that, OK … That is our level of access,” Det. Scott Masterson stated.

Awesome Court docket of California, County of Los Angeles


Det. Scott Masterson: So, once we noticed that, OK … That is our level of access. … We’ve a criminal offense right here. … Any individual broke into this space and did this.

Erin Moriarty: So, this used to be the primary piece of proof that stated to you Mike Herman could be telling you the reality?

Det. Scott Masterson: Right kind. Right kind.

Later, on the Hollywood police station, Herman advised Masterson in regards to the individual he believed used to be accountable.

Michael Herman: I advised them she had an ex-boyfriend that she had had a restraining order in opposition to, that had expired. … I do not know his identify, however Robert would know his identify.

Robert is Robert Coshland, one in all Amie’s closest buddies. “48 Hours” first spoke to Coshland in 2020. He advised us what he advised police.

Robert Coshland (2020): And so they had been like, , “Are you aware who would possibly have, , may have achieved this?” And I used to be like, “Yeah, Gareth.”

Gareth Pursehouse — an outdated boyfriend whom Amie had a dating with once they dated nearly 10 years previous.

Robert Coshland: I used to be like … “You wish to have to move in finding this man immediately.”

Masterson then broke the inside track to Coshland and Herman: Amie had died on the sanatorium. She used to be 38 years outdated.

Erin Moriarty: How tricky used to be it to listen to that Amie did not make it?

Michael Herman: It is nonetheless tricky to listen to …

As investigators labored to seek out Amie’s ex-boyfriend, additionally they attempted to seek out Amie’s folks Penny and Tom Harwick in Pennsylvania. The Harwicks take into accout getting in a position for mattress when there used to be a knock on the door. It used to be the native police.

Penny Harwick: And he stated … “Amie’s been murdered” (cries).

Tom Harwick: It — it is — it is a blur at this time.

Penny Harwick: I do not understand how to explain it, I —

Tom Harwick: Simply devastated.

Penny and Tom’s lifestyles with Amie started once they followed her as an 11-month-old child. 

Erin Moriarty: Do you take into accout the primary time you noticed your little lady?

Penny Harwick: Oh, I completely take into accout … more or less like a fairy story. … here is this pretty little lady sitting there and she or he’s going to come back house with us and — and be our daughter. It used to be superb.

Tom Harwick: And imagine it or no longer, she had a head filled with curls.

Penny Harwick: And her hair used to be honey coloured. … By the point she used to be 4, it used to be so darkish.

The Harwick circle of relatives

Harwick circle of relatives


Round that very same time, the Harwicks followed their son, Chris.

Penny Harwick: She used to be OK with it for a few weeks. After which she stated, “Smartly, when is he going again?” (laughs) … And I stated, “Smartly, he isn’t. He is your brother. He is gonna be right here perpetually.”

Erin Moriarty: How would you describe your sister?

Chris Harwick: Amie used to be an excessively attention-grabbing, uh, personality. … She used to be into heavy steel and rock tune, going to live shows.

And Amie were given her folks in at the motion, too.

Tom Harwick: She grew to become Penny and I into metalheads or headbangers.

Penny Harwick: She did.

Erin Moriarty: Severely?

Penny Harwick: Severely.

Tom Harwick: She would at all times organize to get both behind the scenes or to satisfy the performers. That is simply who she used to be.

After highschool, Amie met Tommy Decker, a drummer from L.A. at an area live performance. The 2 started relationship lengthy distance.

Penny Harwick: After which she stated, “I wanna transfer in the market. I wanna transfer out to L.A.”

In 2001, she headed west. She used to be twenty years outdated.

Penny Harwick: She had to in finding out who she used to be. She wanted to try this for herself.

Quickly, the couple tied the knot. However after a three-year marriage, Decker and Amie divorced. It wasn’t till 2009, that Amie would pass on to satisfy Gareth Pursehouse — the person police suspected had killed her, and whom they had been now in search of.

GARETH PURSEHOUSE’S TROUBLED PAST

Det. Scott Masterson: I used to be very assured that, , Gareth Pursehouse used to be our man.

Inside 13 hours of Amie Harwick’s demise on Feb. 15, 2020, police descended on Pursehouse’s beachside group to arrest him.

Det. Scott Masterson: You need to inform he used to be taking part in the outdated, what is this about, why do you wanna communicate, who, uh — oh yeah, I do know Amie, certain, yeah. …He, mainly, used to be pronouncing I have been at house.

Detectives were not purchasing that tale or the rationale Pursehouse gave for what gave the impression to be a recent black eye: he blamed a house renovation.

Det. Scott Masterson: I stated, “I feel you higher get a contractor. … in the event you come up with an influence device, you are gonna be in actual bother.”

Gareth Pursehouse used to be charged with Amie Harwick’s homicide on Feb. 19, 2020.

DA County of Los Angeles


Pursehouse used to be charged with Amie’s homicide on Feb. 19, 2020, and detectives had been finding out about his previous — starting no longer lengthy after he and Amie started relationship in 2009.

Rudy Torres (2020): They gave the impression of a lovely amusing couple, and kinda great to look, , buddies get in combination.

When “48 Hours” first spoke to Rudy Torres in 2020, he mentioned how the couple met:  Amie, then running as a style and dancer, would continuously run into Pursehouse, an occasions photographer, at flashy L.A. events.

Rudy Torres (2020): In the event you would meet him you possibly can assume he is captivating. Slightly goofy. Kinda dorky.

Erin Moriarty: He wasn’t a musician like she in most cases dated?

Penny Harwick: No, no, no. And she or he used to be looking to damage that dependancy (laughs).

Pursehouse used to be additionally a pc skilled and an aspiring comic, however oddly, says Amie’s mom Penny, her daughter did not proportion a lot else about him.

Erin Moriarty: And why do you assume this is?

Penny Harwick: Smartly, possibly she used to be already feeling like he wasn’t who she concept he used to be.

And Penny says her daughter by no means shared how unstable the two-year dating had turn out to be.

Det. Scott Masterson: She had long gone via … relatively slightly … with Gareth. There used to be … numerous police stories that had been made.

Amie Harwick and Gareth Pursehouse

Detectives realized that Amie had known as police to file a number of violent incidents over time. She stated that on more than one events Pursehouse had “choked,” “suffocated” and “punched” her “with a closed fist,” and she or he even documented her accidents with those pictures. However Amie’s father Tom says Amie did not proportion simply how dangerous issues had gotten.

Tom Harwick: She did not pass into main points.

Erin Moriarty: Do you assume she simply sought after to give protection to the 2 of you?

Penny Harwick: I feel so.

Tom Harwick: Sure, sure.

After Amie ended the connection, she took steps to give protection to herself via acquiring a restraining order in opposition to Pursehouse in 2012. However whilst she used to be looking to distance herself from him, Torres says, Pursehouse may just no longer let her pass.

Rudy Torres: He at all times sought after to — get ahold of her … And I used to inform him … that he must simply depart her by myself … And he would not take no for a solution. … After which he minimize me off.

Within the years after their breakup, Amie advised her folks her house used to be damaged into. On one instance, unusually, the one issues taken had been private pictures, and on any other, her pc used to be cleaned.

Erin Moriarty: And did she assume it used to be Gareth?

Penny Harwick: She did.

Tom Harwick: Sure. Oh, sure.

Erin Moriarty: However no manner of proving.

Penny Harwick: No manner of proving the rest. … In fact, we had been frightened, however then we additionally felt like, neatly, she’s achieved with him … It is over. … And it used to be by no means over.

And Penny says Amie used to be thriving—getting a point to turn out to be an authorized therapist.

Amie posted treatment movies on her social media.

AMIE HARWICK (video):  You’ll search treatment to deal with a subject like despair, anxiousness, a breakup. You’ll additionally search treatment to be a greater you!

However at the same time as Amie excited about serving to others, she could not relatively shake the shadows from her previous. She misplaced a role as a adolescence counselor, Penny says, after a potential employer used to be anonymously despatched nude pictures of her. Amie believed Pursehouse used to be at the back of it.

Penny Harwick: She used to be actually disappointed about it. … And she or he wasn’t certain what she used to be going to do.

In spite of that impediment, Amie studied for a Ph.D. in human sexuality, incomes the name “Dr.” She took a different hobby in marginalized teams — intercourse staff and susceptible ladies.

Erin Moriarty: And she or he does not forestall. She simply –

Tom Harwick: She bounced proper again.

Penny Harwick: No, she did not forestall. … she would paintings with those teams of people who she felt had been underrepresented and wanted lend a hand.

Erin Moriarty: What used to be Dr. Harwick’s recognition?

Emily Sears: Physician Amie Harwick … had a fantastic recognition. I had a large number of mutual buddies that had observed her.

Emily Sears, a style who is graced the quilt of Maxim Mag, first began seeing Dr. Amie Harwick in 2017, partially, to lend a hand her conquer anxiousness she had round relationship and intimacy.

Emily Sears: I felt that she used to be relatable. … neatly, I did not know simply precisely how relatable it used to be.

Even if she opened as much as Amie about an abusive ex-boyfriend who had stalked her, Sears says Amie by no means advised her about her personal equivalent revel in.

Emily Sears: And that also is one thing that I’m suffering to procedure … understanding that I used to be sitting throughout from her, and she or he were via such a lot that used to be equivalent.

As Amie used to be serving to Sears paintings via her problems round relationship, Amie used to be taking a possibility on a brand new guy in her personal lifestyles: Drew Carey, comic and host of “The Value is Proper” on CBS.

Drew Carey (2022): She used to be — clearly actually gorgeous … she used to be actually sensible … She simply sought after to lend a hand other people. Particularly ladies.

“48 Hours” spoke to Carey in 2022. He stated that it wasn’t lengthy after assembly Amie at a birthday party that he determined she used to be the only.

Drew Carey (2022): And I stated, “If that is — if this helps to keep goin’ the best way it is goin’, I am gonna marry her.”

Erin Moriarty: And what came about?

Penny Harwick: What came about used to be … he ended up taking her to Paris on New Yr’s Eve and proposing to her …And she or he authorised.

In 2018, Drew Carey offered Amie Harwick as his fiancee on a different Valentine’s Day episode of the CBS’ “The Value is Proper.”

Eddy Chen/CBS


Carey and Amie shared the inside track on his display quickly after.

DREW CAREY | “The Value is Proper”: I would love to introduce you to my logo new, pretty fiancée, Amie. How are you doing, Amie?

However as an alternative of spending the remainder of their lives in combination, later that 12 months, the couple break up up.

Erin Moriarty: How did she take the breakup?

Penny Harwick: She used to be devastated. I imply, she broke it off. … And I feel that is as a result of, neatly, popularity used to be entering into the best way.

That is as a result of, says Penny, Amie feared that with the added public consideration she used to be getting whilst at the arm of a celeb, she may well be striking herself at risk.

Penny Harwick: You realize who used to be gazing and it made her fear.

“IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO ME, HE DID IT”

Emily Sears: It hit house so much after Amie handed, in the best way that she did … how bad it actually is for girls.

Emily Sears, one in all Amie Harwick’s treatment purchasers, used to be shaken via the inside track of her demise.

Emily Sears: The truth is we are not secure, no person is.

Victor Avila: In coping with some home violence circumstances, this used to be slightly other as a result of … the best way Gareth Pursehouse acted on this case used to be extra methodical.

When Deputy District Lawyer Victor Avila took at the case, he used to be specifically via proof that Pursehouse had damaged into Amie’s space, hoping to catch her off guard when she arrived house.

Victor Avila: And that is the reason on the level that we determined to price no longer best the homicide price … but additionally the particular circumstance of mendacity in wait.

Avila in conjunction with his co-counsel Deputy District Lawyer Catherine Mariano, reviewed surveillance and frame digicam video, interviews with Amie’s friends and family, and compiled a timeline of the occasions main as much as the homicide.

Catherine Mariano: It become very transparent to me that … his obsession drove … his intent to kill her.

 “This night I felt very scared. … It terrifies me that he is been obsessive about me for 9 years, thinks about me on a daily basis,” Amie Harwick wrote in an e mail to herself, a couple of month ahead of her homicide, after she bumped into ex-boyfriend Gareth Pursehouse. 

Fb


They imagine that Pursehouse’s obsession with Amie used to be ignited when he noticed her at an awards display a couple of month ahead of her homicide. It used to be a possibility stumble upon: Pursehouse running the gig as a photographer; Amie smiling for the cameras, taking part in the limelight. However moments previous, off digicam, witnesses say an indignant Pursehouse faced her. Penny Harwick recollects Amie telling her she hadn’t observed him in nearly a decade.

Penny Harwick: He known as her a whinge and … he advised her she ruined his lifestyles … And she or he simply advised me how afraid she used to be, as a result of … he used to be crying … and inflicting an enormous scene. And she or he stated, “Mother, I went into therapist mode. I simply attempted to calm him.”

After speaking to Pursehouse for just about an hour, Amie left the development very frightened.

Erin Moriarty: What used to be your response, Penny, when she used to be telling you this?

Penny Harwick: Oh, that is once we mentioned safety … And … she stated she used to be going to get pepper spray.

Robert Coshland: We determined to begin sharing location so I may just observe the place she used to be.

Her shut pal, Robert Coshland, says sharing her telephone’s location used to be one of the most few issues Amie felt she may just do to really feel secure. The restraining order in opposition to Pursehouse had lengthy expired, and since Pursehouse hadn’t expressly threatened her, Coshland says she did not assume going to police would lend a hand. Nonetheless, he says, Amie used to be very involved.

Robert Coshland: That is when she stated, glance … “if one thing occurs to me, he did it.”

Erin Moriarty: She if truth be told stated.

Robert Coshland: She actually stated that.

Victor Avila: She’s considering that he may cause me hurt. … and the very subsequent day … he reveals her telephone on the net and begins texting her.

Pursehouse despatched Amie a sequence of texts and later left her a tear-filled voicemail:

GARETH PURSEHOUSE (voicemail): I’ve such a lot I want to say. Please give me a possibility to only say it. … Please (crying) please.

That is when prosecutors say Amie determined to dam his quantity.

Victor Avila: I imagine, up till that time, he used to be looking to manipulate his long ago into her lifestyles … the purpose that she made the verdict … to dam him … that used to be her selection, and she or he had that proper to try this.

Prosecutors say Pursehouse began making plans to kill Amie on Valentine’s Day.

Erin Moriarty: Used to be that only a random date?

Catherine Mariano: Completely no longer. … I feel he sought after to make a observation via killing her on Valentine’s Day.

On Feb. 14, 2020, Amie went out with a gaggle of buddies round 7 p.m. Two hours later, say prosecutors, surveillance cameras from her next-door neighbor’s belongings had been activated.

Victor Avila: And then you definitely get the ones Ring cameras that display an individual that appears similar to Gareth Pursehouse with gloves.

Gareth Pursehouse’s gloved hand is observed masking Amie Harwick’s neighbor’s safety digicam. 

Awesome Court docket of California, County of Los Angeles


Det. Scott Masterson: When he first comes into view … he covers the digicam. And when the digicam senses … not more movement, it shuts off after which he hops over the fence.

And into Amie’s backyard.

Quickly after, round 9 p.m., they imagine Pursehouse broke via that French door.

Victor Avila: And that is the reason in keeping with Michael Herman. … He heard one thing breaking upstairs early within the night time.

Det. Scott Masterson: And I feel he simply … were given into the home, minimize himself. I do not believe he even learned he minimize himself.

Leaving that blood police later discovered close by, DNA trying out would ascertain it belonged to Pursehouse. And Det. Masterson says the place Pursehouse went subsequent used to be printed via Amie’s unmade mattress.

Det. Scott Masterson: I feel he climbed in her mattress … He used to be there looking ahead to her … for relatively some time.

Erin Moriarty: How creepy is that?

Det. Scott Masterson: Loopy creepy.

“I feel [Gareth Pursehouse] climbed in her mattress,” says Det. Masterson. He calls it, “very creepy.”

Awesome Court docket of California, County of Los Angeles


That is the place Masterson believes Amie discovered him 4 hours later when she arrived house somewhat after 1 a.m.

Det. Scott Masterson: She … walks into her bed room … And I feel she simply iced over in surprise and concern. … and the only factor that used to be at the mattress used to be her telephone. So, I feel she if truth be told … threw her telephone at him and grew to become and began to expire of the bed room. … And she or he’s screaming. … and they are preventing and they are wrestling.

Erin Moriarty: How exhausting did Amie struggle for her lifestyles?

Det. Scott Masterson: I feel she fought with the whole lot she had.

Victor Avila: He had one thing that seemed to appear to be … a chunk mark on his bicep.

And Pursehouse additionally had that black eye.

Victor Avila: To us it used to be indicative of Amie preventing for her lifestyles … however she used to be clearly up in opposition to a miles larger, more potent opponent.

Prosecutors imagine Pursehouse began choking Amie, and that’s the reason when Michael Herman yelled, they imagine, catching Pursehouse via marvel.

Catherine Mariano: And I feel that plan used to be indisputably thwarted via the … unbeknownst presence of Michael Herman there. I simply do not imagine that he even knew that any person used to be house.

Proof marker 18: A syringe discovered on Amie Harwick’s third-floor balcony.

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In his panic, they imagine Pursehouse dropped that syringe police discovered at the balcony. It used to be months ahead of lab assessments printed what it contained: liquid nicotine.

Victor Avila: A poisonous poison, that if injected into anyone, it could kill them.

Erin Moriarty: Why kill her that manner?

Victor Avila: I imply … with that deadly dose of nicotine … other people won’t know what killed her … It might not be detected.

Together with his unique plan interrupted, prosecutors imagine that Pursehouse carried Amie—slightly aware after being strangled—to the 0.33 tale balcony.

Victor Avila: Lifts her proper over the rail after which drops her … to kill her.

Gareth Pursehouse is stuck at the neighbor’s digicam once more as he left the scene.

Awesome Court docket of California, County of Los Angeles


Gareth Pursehouse is stuck at the neighbor’s digicam hopping again over the fence.

With their suspect and principle of the crime, the prosecutors had been in a position for trial. However they had been shocked via Pursehouse’s protection: blaming Amie for what came about that night time.

THE MURDER TRIAL OF GARETH PURSEHOUSE

In August 2023, greater than 3 years after Amie Harwick’s demise, her accused killer Gareth Pursehouse went on trial.

Gareth Pursehouse with one in all his protection legal professionals right through his homicide trial in 2023.

Pool


Catherine Mariano: I nearly did not acknowledge him.

Victor Avila: Proper.

Of their opening statements, prosecutors Victor Avila and Catherine Mariano advised jurors why and the way they imagine Pursehouse ended Amie’s lifestyles within the early morning of Feb. 15, 2020.

VICTOR AVILA (in courtroom): Dr. Amie Harwick used to be murdered via defendant, Gareth Pursehouse, as a result of he used to be obsessed along with her. He strangled her. … lifted her up over the balcony and dropped her to her demise.

Tom Harwick: I simply pray that Amie used to be subconscious when she used to be — when she went over the balcony.

Tom and Penny Harwick

CBS Information


Tom and Penny Harwick sat via each and every 2d of the trial; even probably the most graphic moments.

Penny Harwick: I want to know what came about to my daughter. 

Tom Harwick: And we needed to be there for Amie.

Penny Harwick: Yeah.

Tom Harwick: Thru the entire ordeal.

However the Harwicks weren’t by myself. Additionally within the court: a small military of Amie’s buddies – together with Rudy Torres.

Rudy Torres: That is the very last thing I may just ever do for her.

Even though fortified via her buddies, not anything may just get ready the Harwicks to listen to — for the primary time ever — Gareth Pursehouse’s clarification about what came about the night time Amie died. Protection lawyer Evan Franzel claims that operating into Amie in January 2020 at that awards display had despatched Pursehouse into “a deep debilitating despair” and the one manner out of it used to be to speak to Amie on Valentine’s Day 2020.

EVAN FRANZEL (in courtroom): His best purpose that night time used to be to talk to her.

Erin Moriarty: What used to be your response to that?

Penny Harwick: Bull***, to place it bluntly. They are making up tales as a result of they’ve no protection.


Amie Harwick’s folks reply to killer’s protection in unique interview via
48 Hours on
YouTube

And as for that nicotine-filled syringe discovered on the crime scene, Pursehouse’s protection lawyer says it wasn’t for Amie.

EVAN FRANZEL (in courtroom): He introduced it meaning to kill himself.

Det. Scott Masterson: Why did not he? … No, he used to be on a project … to kill her.

Victor Avila: He used to be dressed in gloves when he went there, he coated up the cameras. What is the objective in doing all that if you’ll kill your self there in entrance of her?

The protection tells the jurors they’ll pay attention from an twist of fate reconstructionist who will display that Amie fell on her personal. Franzel then presentations the jury two photographs: a screenshot of the reconstruction appearing an animated determine putting from the balcony and an undated picture of Amie posing on most sensible of a balcony railing.

The photographs the protection  confirmed in courtroom:  a screenshot of the reconstruction appearing an animated determine putting from the balcony and an undated picture of Amie Harwick posing on most sensible of a balcony railing.

Gareth Pursehouse protection reveals


EVAN FRANZEL (in courtroom): You can see that she had a definite convenience degree with the balcony railing.

Penny Harwick (referencing the picture of Amie proven in courtroom): Gorgeous younger girl, wasn’t she? She regarded superb.

Erin Moriarty: What used to be your response?

Tom Harwick: Ridiculous.

Penny Harwick: I could not take it significantly. It used to be in order that farfetched to me.

Victor Avila: She’s been strangled, she’s debilitated. So for her to then stroll … climb over a 3-foot rail, … do all that … it does not appear affordable. It sort of feels if truth be told unreasonable.

The protection’s opening concludes with this damning admission:

EVAN FRANZEL (in courtroom): Sure, Gareth Pursehouse used to be ready in her house. He broke into her house. Had he no longer been there she do not need died that night time. That’s not in dispute. He set a series of movements into movement that resulted in her demise, however the proof will display that he by no means supposed on killing her.

Over the process 10 days, the prosecution introduced its proof to turn out that Pursehouse did intend to kill Amie Harwick. Dozens of witnesses testified for the state, together with Masterson – now retired, Coshland and, in fact, Amie’s roommate, Michael Herman — the person who heard all of it. Herman described for the jury how after that incident at the pink carpet, Amie were interested by the ones French doorways that Pursehouse would later use to damage into her house.

MICHAEL HERMAN (in courtroom): Amie had met with a handyman. I take into accout, uh, they had been over via the glass doorways … and Amie used to be pointing it out and telling him, “We want to safe this.”

Prosecutors additionally performed for the jury a taped prison dialog between Pursehouse and his buddies after his arrest.

GARETH PURSEHOUSE: I suppose I am formally a nasty boy now, proper? I have at all times been more or less (laughs).

Catherine Mariano: Simply a few weeks after he is been arrested for homicide … he is giggling together with his buddies. …  You by no means pay attention any second of outrage for Amie right through that decision.

GARETH PURSEHOUSE: Yeah, so s***’s no longer nice. I am not getting outta right here.

Erin Moriarty: Why used to be that essential?

Victor Avila: I feel that is … one piece of proof … to turn a awareness of guilt. … So he is aware of what is coming. … since the proof presentations what he did. … It proves what he did.

When it used to be the protection’s flip to provide its case and contact its skilled witness to turn how Amie’s fall from the balcony used to be an twist of fate, the protection all at once rested with out calling a unmarried witness.

Erin Moriarty: Did not that harm the protection?

Victor Avila: I’m certain some jurors had been questioning what came about … So, I do not believe that is helping.

All the way through remaining arguments, protection lawyer Robin Bernstein-Lev introduced a brand new principle of what came about that night time: that Amie will have attacked Pursehouse.

ROBIN BERNSTEIN-LEV (in courtroom): We do not know who initiated the bodily war of words. … It’s only as most probably if no longer likelier … she preemptively attacked Gareth Pursehouse as a way to subdue him as a result of she used to be scared of him.

Det. Scott Masterson: You notice that always, do not you, a 115-pound … girl choosing a struggle with a 230-pound, 6’4″ guy? … It is simply preposterous on its face.

Erin Moriarty: Did that make you mad?

Penny Harwick: Oh … it took all my strength of will to stick in that seat, to stay my mouth close.

All the way through the state’s remaining arguments, it is Amie Harwick who has the ultimate with Prosecutor Mariano studying from an e mail Amie wrote to herself hours after her January 2020 stumble upon with Pursehouse.

CATHERINE MARIANO (studying Amie’s e mail in courtroom): “This night, I felt very scared … Gareth got here up at the back of me and began screaming.”

Catherine Mariano (studying Amie’s e mail for Moriarty): “I am lovely worried that I am extra on his radar now. It terrifies me that he is obsessive about me for 9 years, thinks about me on a daily basis… He is excited about harming me.”

Det. Scott Masterson: That is the closest now we have ever needed to a sufferer attesting of their homicide. … I assumed it used to be extraordinarily devastating.

Jurors had 3 alternatives: homicide within the first diploma, homicide in the second one diploma, or the lesser price of voluntary manslaughter.

Tom Harwick: When it got here time for deliberation, I feel all of us concept it could be somewhat fast. … Day One went via: not anything.

Penny Harwick: I began getting somewhat frightened and considering what may just they be debating about?

JUSTICE FOR AMIE HARWICK

Catherine Mariano: I felt worried.

Victor Avila: Yeah.

Catherine Mariano: …since you by no means know.

As jurors met for a 2d day to make a decision Pursehouse’s destiny, the looking ahead to a verdict started to weigh closely at the prosecution.

Catherine Mariano: It is extremely, nerve-wracking. … The wait is the worst section.

And on Amie’s family and friends.

Rudy Torres: And all you pay attention is rather like a symphony of frightened bellies, simply grr. So, everyone’s worried.

However as courtroom used to be about to adjourn —

Tom Harwick: We had been strolling out of the courthouse, and Rudy known as down and stated … “Everyone rise up right here. There is a verdict!”

JUDGE GEORGE G. LOMELI: Is it right kind that the jury has a verdict? 

JUROR 1: Sure.

JUDGE GEORGE G. LOMELI: You’ll hand the decision shape over to the bailiff, please.

CLERK: We the jury within the above-entitled motion in finding the defendant, Gareth Pursehouse, accountable of the crime of homicide within the first diploma.

Gareth Pursehouse – accountable of first-degree homicide with the particular circumstance of mendacity in wait.

Erin Moriarty: What did you’re feeling at that second?

Penny Harwick: An enormous aid. Massive aid. I simply began crying, and I could not forestall.  It used to be like, whew, after all, in spite of everything this time, he’ll be held in charge of what he did. 

Two months later, Pursehouse used to be sentenced to lifestyles in jail with out parole. He did not say a phrase.

Amie’s pal, Robert Coshland.

Amie Harwick and Robert Coshland

Robert Coshland


Robert Coshland: Justice used to be rendered and that’s the reason just right, however we should not be right here in any respect. This must by no means have came about first of all. … The opening in our lives stays.

Penny Harwick: He is impacted such a lot of other people together with his movements, such a lot of other people. … He devastated our circle of relatives.

A circle of relatives that has grown. After the decision, Tom accrued Amie’s buddies — those who’ve stood via them each and every step of this adventure. 

Tom Harwick: I stated, “You might be no longer our buddies, you are circle of relatives. You actually have (crying) turn out to be our circle of relatives.”

Erin Moriarty: May you have got gotten via this with out them?

Tom Harwick: No.

Penny Harwick: I do not believe so.

It is a testomony to the fantastic lifestyles and neighborhood Amie Harwick created.


Amie Harwick’s roommate on what came about the night time she died and the way he attempted to save lots of her via
48 Hours on
YouTube

Michael Herman: She used to be actually satisfied. She used to be actually satisfied that she had actually gotten her lifestyles in combination. Guy, we had been all satisfied…

Michael Herman says he nonetheless helps to keep replaying that night time.

Michael Herman: She’s long gone and I am nonetheless right here … You wish to have a 2d likelihood. … I am nonetheless looking to save her.

Erin Moriarty: Michael Herman has a large number of survivor’s guilt.

Penny Harwick: Oh, my goodness. … He did the precise proper factor.

Tom Harwick: He made the entire proper selections.

Erin Moriarty: Do you’re feeling your sister were given justice?

Chris Harwick: I believe — I believe she did.

Amie’s brother, Chris.

Chris Harwick: We want … that she nonetheless may well be right here to, to proceed to lend a hand other people ‘motive that is what she’s all about.

Rudy Torres: We misplaced a chum, however such a lot of folks misplaced a healer.

Emily Sears: I recall to mind Amie on a daily basis. … As a result of she — she helped me such a lot.

Emily Sears says she’s suffering with out Amie’s steerage.

Emily Sears: It is in order that exhausting to … really feel secure when that is the truth of what came about to her and what occurs to such a lot of other people.

Amie’s family members are hoping to switch that fact. After her demise, a petition used to be created to rewrite California home violence regulations, together with a statute fighting restraining orders from expiring.

Tom Harwick: And our greatest sadness used to be … it misplaced all its affect when COVID close the whole lot down.

Prosecutor Mariano recognizes that there are limits to the prison machine.

Catherine Mariano: By the point it will get to our desk … we are able to behave reactively somewhat than proactively. … However as a society, I feel we will be able to at all times do higher, proper?

Victor Avila: Proper.

After the trial, Amie’s folks headed house to Pennsylvania — where the place they first become a circle of relatives with their little lady and watched her develop into the girl admired and now overlooked via such a lot of.

Tom, Penny and Amie Harwick

Harwick circle of relatives


Erin Moriarty: What is the toughest section?

Penny Harwick: Simply the — the absence, the quiet.

Tom Harwick: Only one large void, one large void.

Penny Harwick: … and I pass over our adventures.

Adventures remembered once they talk over with Amie’s grave.

PENNY HARWICK (striking vegetation on Amie’s grave) I could not get a brighter orange. I do know orange used to be your favourite colour, however that is the nearest I may just get.

TOM HARWICK: We pass over you, Amie. Each day, we recall to mind you.

Penny Harwick: We are not the similar other people we had been ahead of, however we stay looking to be.

Erin Moriarty: The rest you would like you were in a position to mention to her?

Penny Harwick: Simply to inform her yet another time that I really like her. I do know she knew it, however I sought after so that you could say it.

In the event you or anyone is experiencing home violence or stalking, the Nationwide Home Violence Hotline can also be reached at 1−800−799−7233.


Produced via Richard Fetzer and Lauren A. White. Michelle Fanucci and Greg Fisher are the improvement manufacturers. Lauren Turner Dunn is the affiliate manufacturer. Greg Kaplan and Phil Tangel are the editors. Anthony Batson is the senior broadcast manufacturer, Nancy Kramer is the manager editor. Judy Tygard is the manager manufacturer. 

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