News Column

Marathon hoax suspect competent to stand trial

May 7, 2014

By Laurel J. Sweet, Boston Herald



May 07--A self-styled performance artist accused of dropping a rice cooker in a backpack on Boylston Street on the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings while costumed as a beekeeper in mourning has been deemed competent to stand trial, prosecutors announced today.

A shackled Kevin "Kayvon" Edson, 25, of Wakefield, sobbed as assistant Suffolk District Attorney Susan Terrey told Boston Municipal Court Judge Thomas Horgan the government will push ahead with charges of possession of a hoax explosive device, threats to commit a crime and disorderly conduct. The Massachusetts College of Art and Design undergrad faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Edson was deemed competent after a 20-day psychiatric evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital, prosecutors said.

Horgan agreed to reduce Edson's $100,000 cash bail to $50,000 and ordered him to return to court June 3 for a probable cause hearing. Defense attorney Shannon Lopez said she will file a motion to dismiss the charges.

"This is a defensible case," she told the judge.

Horgan pointedly warned Terrey that if her office has not indicted Edson by next month, "bail will be revisited."

"Until we learned today whether he was competent to stand trial, we could not make a reasoned and informed judgment," Terrey responded.

Edson must wear a GPS bracelet, stay on his medication and file a mental health treatment plan if he posts bail.

Family of Edson, as well as classmates and professors, packed Horgan's courtroom, but none would acknowledge reporters asking them to comment as they left.

Lopez told Horgan the college has allowed Edson to take a leave of absence. She assured him the student is "not a danger to the community."

Edson's alleged stunt was pulled off April 15 just after tributes to three spectators who were killed and the more than 260 others injured in the finish-line terrorist attack had concluded in Copley Square. Among the dignitaries present was Vice President Joe Biden.

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Source: Boston Herald (MA)