EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

May 8, 2014

Man charged with marathon hoax found competent

BOSTON (AP) — The man charged with placing a backpack with a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombing wept in court yesterday as he was found mentally competent to stand trial.

Kevin Edson, 25, a student at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, was sent to Bridgewater State Hospital in April after being charged with multiple counts, including possession of a hoax device, threatening to commit a crime and disturbance of the peace.

A Boston Municipal Court judge found Edson competent to stand trial and ordered his bail cut in half to $50,000 after hearing from both sides. Edson also must wear a GPS tracking device, attend counseling and stay on medication. He is due back in court June 3.

His mother, Joie Edson, said he has been battling a bipolar disorder for years.

She would not comment after court.

Kevin Edson cried several times during the hearing, raising his cuffed hands to wipe away tears. His friends and family also wept.

Authorities say Edson was spotted by passers-by on Boylston Street near the marathon finish line April 15, a week before this year’s race; he was walking barefooted in the rain and wearing a backpack, a black veil and makeup.

Authorities say two unattended backpacks were near the finish line, one of which was Edson’s and the other was a misplaced bag from the media. When police approached him and asked what was inside the pack, he said a rice cooker. No explosives were found and no one was injured.

A court document stated Edson told police that “the performance got the best of me.”

Edson’s attorney, Shannon Lopez, said Wednesday that her inbox was flooded with emails in support of the Wakefield resident and that multiple doctors say her client is not a danger to himself or others. She said he also has followed doctors’ advice and is willing to continue treatment.

The April 15, 2013, marathon bombings killed three people and injured more than 260 others. Two pressure cooker explosives were left in backpacks near the finish line. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged in the bombings and is awaiting trial.

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