The roommates of a University of Mary Washington student say the man accused of killing her told them he had a violent confrontation with the woman before she was found slain in their off-campus house.

Roommates Kathryn Erwin and Holly Aleksonis testified Tuesday at a preliminary hearing for Steven V. Briel. After the one-hour hearing, Fredericksburg General District Court Judge John R. Stevens found probable cause to send the case to circuit court.

Briel is charged with the April 17 abduction and slaying of 20-year-old Grace Mann. She was strangled.

Briel was a part-time Mary Washington student who shared a house with Mann. The 20-year-old McLean woman was active on campus, particularly with a feminist group that is seeking a federal gender discrimination investigation of the state university.