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DA weighs prosecution of teens in vandalism McKelvin in favor, but it's Sedita's call

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said he may prosecute the two 16-year-old youths who admitted spray-painting the front lawn of Buffalo Bills kick returner Leodis McKelvin after his fumble led to a stunning one-point loss to the New England Patriots on Monday night.

Sedita stressed that even though McKelvin has given Town of Hamburg police an affidavit demanding that any suspects be prosecuted, the final decision on how the case will be handled in the courts "will be mine."

Sedita said he is awaiting the completion of all evidence-gathering by police and his own staff investigators before he makes a final judgment about what lies ahead for the two boys, whom he refused to identify.

In McKelvin's sworn statement, a copy of which was observed by The Buffalo News on Thursday, the cornerback spoke of "the alarm and annoyance" he experienced in observing "the damage to my lawn."

McKelvin told police: "I wish that any person found to be responsible for this action be arrested and dealt with in the proper court system." His affidavit contradicts his public statements about not wanting "anyone to get arrested" for the stunt.

Sedita said he could go ahead and prosecute the case even if McKelvin objected. The two 16-year-olds admitted to Hamburg police Wednesday that they had spray-painted messages of frustration on McKelvin's front lawn in the Briercliff Estates subdivision off Amsdell Road. They included the statement "learn 2 take a knee," as well as the score -- 25-24 -- and a graphic depiction of the male anatomy.

According to Hamburg police Lt. Kevin A. Trask, the two youth told police that they vandalized McKelvin's lawn at about 2 a.m. Tuesday. Trask said police got an anonymous tip linking one of the youths to the vandalism and that the yotuh, when confronted, implicated his friend.

Neither of the youths is in custody. Sedita said that if he decides to prosecute, he is unsure whether they would be taken into custody or just served with appearance tickets for court proceedings.

McKelvin fumbled on a kickoff return in the closing minutes Monday, and the Patriots quickly scored the winning touchdown.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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