Daniel R. Kfoury, 30, a maintenance worker, told Arlington police that his housemate, Robert C. Bloom, died early Monday while Kfoury was performing what he called an exorcism on him, according to the affidavit for a search warrant filed yesterday by detectives.

Police said they received a call about 4:50 a.m. Monday from someone who reported a possible death at 4907 N. Washington Blvd. Kfoury, who was living in the house temporarily, met officers at the door and took them to a basement apartment in the single-family home, the affidavit says.

There, according to the affidavit, police found Bloom, 27, lying face down in the bedroom area. Books and papers were strewn around the room, the affidavit says.

Bloom was pronounced dead by a medical examiner at 6:15 a.m. About five hours later, Kfoury was charged with first-degree murder.

Kfoury told police that "Bloom had expired during an exorcism administered by Kfoury," the affidavit says. "Subsequent conversations with Kfoury revealed . . . that Bloom had been suspected by Kfoury of being possessed by evil spirits."

Kfoury told officers, according to the affidavit, that he "placed Bloom's head between his [Kfoury's] legs to immobilize Bloom and then began periodically to strike Bloom in the spinal area. This procedure continued without interruption for approximately seven hours, culminating in Bloom's death."

An autopsy conducted Tuesday showed Bloom died of asphyxiation.

In a motion filed Wednesday in Arlington Circuit Court and scheduled to be argued Monday, Commonwealth's Attorney Henry E. Hudson notes that during the autopsy, "several distinct bite marks were observed on the body." The motion asks 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 and was living temporarily with Bloom. Investigators said the basement apartment is in the home of Bloom's parents.

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 added that they did not necessarily plan to present a psychiatric defense. He would not comment further except to say, "At this point, we are exploring all avenues of the defense."