New Orleans, La. -- The trial for a local pastor accused of stealing Road Home money from the elderly was dismissed Wednesday at Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, but Elijah Mealancon isn't off the hook as prosecutors build an even bigger case against him.
Prosecutors told Judge Ben Willard they wanted to dismiss this particular case. A District Attorney's Office spokesperson told FOX 8, prosecutors and the court are preparing this case for trial after they determined there were other counts of contractor fraud. Chris Bowman said the D.A.'s Office feels it would be more efficient to proceed with all of the counts at once. Bowman said they'll soon file a new bill of information.
When Mealancon heard that, he yelled out "this trial needs to be today" and whipped his hat around. Judge Willard told Mealancon to restrain himself and also told him he has no right to say when a case will go before the court. Willard asked Mealancon to calm down and leave the court room.
Mealancon's defense attorney, Donna Weidenhaft objected to the motion to dismiss and told the judge she subpoenaed five witnesses who were prepared for the case today. She told FOX 8 she would not be making a statement.
Several homeowners, most of them elderly residents, told the FOX 8 Defenders that they paid Mealancon to rebuild their homes, but he never finished the work. Mealancon was arrested on theft charges at least twice, but is out on bond.