FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – A Fredericksburg man has been found guilty of all charges in the strangulation death of a University of Mary Washington student.
Steven Vander Briel, 31, was found guilty of first degree murder, abduction and strangulation in the death of Grace Rebecca Mann, 20, in April of 2015.
A Spotsylvania County jury recommended Briel be sentenced to life in prison plus 11 years for killing Mann.
The jury rejected the defense’s argument that Briel was insane when he committed the murder, according to WUSA.
Dr. Eileen Ryan, the medical director at the University of Virginia’s Institute of law, Psychiatry and Public Policy, diagnosed Briel with paranoid schizophrenia and said he believed people were trying to kill him.
After interviewing Briel for 70 hours, Ryan testified he should not be held criminally responsible for Mann’s death, according to WUSA.
“He believed in his delusional mind that he was about to be killed. He was defending himself from certain death,” Dr. Ryan said.
Briel and Mann were roommates in Fredericksburg, where Mann attended Mary Washington and Briel was an on-again, off-again student.