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Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

NEWORLEANS- There may be more to last Friday's bloodshed on Verbena Street in Gentilly then just a run of the mill murder.

'I don't believe in coincidences,' said attorney Michael Fiser.

Fiser represented the victim, 61-year-old Milton Womack in federal court in Baton Rouge.

Womack was one of 10 suspects indicted last September in a $24 million fraud investigation.

The charges stemmed from an alleged Medicare scam in south and central Louisiana.

He had just filed papers in court to plead guilty and become a cooperating witness in the case.

'I think if you look at the sequence of events, it was on a Wednesday it became public record that he would be entering a change of plea in this case. On Friday afternoon he was murdered.

Womack's family members expressed similar concerns, but did not want to be interviewed until after their loved one's funeral next week.

Fiser says his client felt threatened and said so during a recent hearing where he was appointed Womack's public defender.

'There were some concerns expressed that there was some pressure being put on him and he would like independent counsel and he was referred to the federal office of public defender at that point.'

Fiser says he was shocked when he heard about the murder.

'It was the kind of thing you might not be so surprised in a drug case, but in a white collar, medicare fraud case, you do not expect potential witnesses to be murdered conveniently before they're about to enter a plea.'

Thursday the NOPD released a statement about the case.

Police spokesperson Remi Braden said, 'We're working with our federal partners on this case, but at this point I can't say anything more than that. All I can do is encourage anyone with information about the crime to please call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.'

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