ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) _ A man who allegedly believed his roommate was possessed by evil spirits has been accused of striking his roommate repeatedly on the spine in a seven-hour ''exorcism'' that ended in his death.

Daniel R. Kfoury, a 30-year-old maintenance worker, told police his housemate, Robert C. Bloom, died Monday while Kfoury was performing an exorcism on him, according to the affidavit for a search warrant filed Thursday by homicide detectives.

Police said they received a call before dawn Monday saying Bloom had died. Kfoury, who was living in Bloom's house temporarily, allegedly met officers at the door and took them to a basement apartment where Bloom's body was recovered.

Bloom, 27, was pronounced dead by a medical examiner at 6:15 a.m. An autopsy conducted Tuesday showed he died of asphyxiation.

Kfoury was charged with first-degree murder.

''Conversations with Kfoury revealed ... that Bloom had been suspected by Kfoury of being possessed by evil spirits,'' the affidavit stated.

Kfoury allegedly told officers he placed Bloom's head between his legs to immobilize Bloom and then began periodically to strike Bloom in the spinal area for seven hours.

In a motion filed Wednesday in Arlington Circuit Court, Commonwealth's Attorney Henry E. Hudson said that during the autopsy, ''several distinct bite marks were observed on the body.'' The motion asked for a forensic dentist to take a bite impression of Kfoury's teeth.

According to the affidavit, Kfoury said he had met Bloom at church about a week before the incident. Investigators said the basement apartment is in Bloom's parents' house.

Kfoury is being held without bond in Arlington Jail. A date for a preliminary hearing is to be set Monday.

Defense attorney Frank Ceresi said he and co-counsel Karl Sorg had asked for a psychiatric examination of Kfoury, but said they did not necessarily plan to present a psychiatric defense.