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Psychiatric evaluation ordered for man charged in Boston bomb hoax

BOSTON (Reuters) - A Boston man who was arrested on Tuesday for walking through the finish area of the Boston Marathon hooded and carrying a black backpack was formally charged on Wednesday with a bomb hoax and ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation, officials said.

The man, 25-year-old Kevin Edson, was arraigned on charges including making a false bomb threat and possession of a hoax device after telling police officers that he was carrying a "rice cooker," prompting the evacuation of a crowded downtown street that hours earlier had been the site of a memorial for the victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

In that attack, homemade pressure cooker bombs left in backpacks near the finish line killed three people and injured 264.

Edson, who pleaded not guilty, could face up to 20 years in state prison if convicted of the charges, prosecutors said. He was ordered held on $100,000 cash bail.

Prosecutors said he told police he had intended his actions as "symbolism" and that "the performance got the best of me".

(Reporting by Scott Malone; editing by Peter Galloway)

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