One of the final social media posts of a woman allegedly murdered in a domestic violence incident at one of Australia’s most luxurious hotels showed her “loving life” before her untimely end.
The body of family law lawyer Alice Rose McShera, 34, was found at Crown Towers Perth in Burswood on Monday morning.
McShera posted about his stay at the hotel on his Facebook page on Sunday, telling his followers that he “spent the night before my next surgery drinking Dom (Perignon champagne), watching old DVDs and loving life.”
She thanked her best friend, a lawyer friend whom she called “Lawyer of the Year”, for staying at the hotel.
Cameron John Pearson, 42, appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning charged with McShera’s murder.
He was also allegedly found at the scene suffering from self-inflicted injuries but was able to stand when he appeared before Judge Stephen Butcher.
Homicide detectives charged a Bibra Lake man with murder Monday night.
Pearson, represented by attorney Reid Hogan, was wearing a white forensic overalls and was unshaven.
He had to be asked repeatedly whether he understood the murder charge against him.
Magistrate Butcher remanded Pearson in custody to appear at Stirling Gardens Magistrates’ Court on 22 November.
Outside court, McShera’s supporters, believed to be family members, declined to comment to the waiting media.
Emergency services were called to the hotel around 20.10 on Sunday after it was reported that a woman was found dead in a room.
St John Ambulance paramedics treated McShera at the scene but he could not be saved.
Police said Pearson, who was understood to be his partner, suffered “serious self-inflicted injuries”.
WA Police Superintendent Geoff Desanges told media on Tuesday that Crown security staff checked the hotel room after a call from a concerned family member.
“A family member who was seeking to get hold of one of the people in that room had spoken to Crown Towers,” he said.
“We’re still to identify the full circumstances of the relationship, and what brought about the events of (Monday).”
McShera allegedly suffered head injuries consistent with a “blunt instrument.”
“There appears to have been a passage of time between the woman being injured and police being called to the hotel,” Inspector Desanges said.
A spokesperson for Crown Resorts issued a brief statement following Ms McShera’s death.
“We can confirm police responded to an incident at Crown Towers Perth earlier today,” the statement read.
“Our team are assisting WA Police with their investigation, and we are supporting our team members.”
The $411m Crown Towers in Perth, which includes 500 guest rooms and villas, was opened in 2016.
McShera worked at Murray Chambers in Perth.
His profile stated that he was “an experienced attorney who appears as counsel and provides advice on all family law and restraining orders matters.”
Before working as an independent solicitor, McShera worked as a senior solicitor at a boutique family law firm and before that worked as a law partner to a WA Family Court judge for four years.
He received his Master of Laws degree from the Australian National University in 2015 and was a member of the Family Law Practitioners Association of Western Australia and the Law Society of Western Australia.
Tributes have been pouring in for Ms McShera, including a joint statement from the Law Society of Western Australia and the Western Australian Bar Association.
“On behalf of our respective associations and members, we extend our deepest condolences and condolences to Ms. McShera’s family,” said Ante Golem, President of the Law Society, and Brahma Dharmananda, President of the Bar Association.
Keegan Family Lawyers said in a social media post that Ms McShera was “a strong woman, a strong woman, an amazing lawyer and advocate.”
“You fought for those who could not fight for themselves. You were a friend, a colleague, and someone to desire. I can’t believe you were taken from us.
“Our community will mourn your loss! You will be missed very much. I am really sad.”
Murray Chambers said everyone was “deeply shocked by the terrible news about our respected and much-loved colleague and friend”.
“Alice was an experienced and highly skilled lawyer who was an integral part of the Murray Chambers family,” the statement said.
“The profession will be impoverished even further because of his loss. “We feel deeply for Alice’s family and friends at this time.”
Clement and Co’s Family and Criminal Lawyers said they were “deeply shocked and saddened”. “A life senselessly taken in unimaginable circumstances,” they said.
“Let us remember Alice not for the tragic circumstances of her death, but for the positive impact she had on so many lives.
“We offer our sincere condolences to Alice’s family, friends and colleagues at Murray Chambers.
“We share their pain and offer our unwavering support during this difficult time.”
Anti-domestic violence organization White Ribbon Australia said McShera was the 43rd woman to die from alleged violence this year. “It is claimed that there is a murder every nine days in Australia,” CEO Melissa Perry said in a statement.
Perry said the time for silence and indifference has passed.
“As a nation, we need to do more to change this unacceptable set of statistics,” she said. “We also need to recognize that this will not happen without greater investment in all areas of the domestic violence and abuse sector.
“This includes primary prevention strategies and education campaigns to stop violence before it starts, behavior change programs for men who choose to use violence, and victim-survivor support services.”