An Arlington grand jury yesterday indicted 35-year-old Richard Lee Earman on five charges, including attempted murder for hire and conspiracy to murder for hire, in the slaying of Arlington real estate salesman Alan W. Foreman 18 months ago.
Earman, an ex-convict who says he is a self-employed tennis instructor, was acquitted of murdering Foreman in a celebrated jury trial last year.
The new indictments, according to sources close to the case, werebased on statements Earman volunteered to police and prosecutors during an 11-hour interview last month.
Earman told The Washington Post earlier this week that he had gone to the authorities with new details of the slaying only after several lawyers assured him that he could never again be tried for the murder.
Reached at home in Fairfax County yesterday, Earman said he was "shocked" and "distraught" over the indictments. "They want me to cooperate with them and look where it got me," he said.
In addition to the attempted and conspiracy murder charges, which each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment. Earman was indicted for allegedly breaking into Foreman's home on two other occasions, once while armed with a sawed-off shotgun, in an attempt to kill him. The two burlary and possession of a sawed off shotgun charges each carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment under irginia law.
Foreman, 26, and his fiancee, Donna Shoemaker, 25, were found shot to death in Foreman's car in the garage of the dead man's North Arlington home in May 1977. Foreman, a real estate salesman, was shot four times and Shoemaker twice in what police said was an execution-style slaying and one of the most brutal murders in the county's history.
Arlington Commonwealth's Attorney William S. Burroughs Jr., who sought the new indictments has said that he believes he can successfully try Earman for conspiracy to murder Foreman, and attempting to murder him as distinct from the murder itself. Consitutional guarantees phohibit individuals from being tried twice for the same offense.
Earman pleaded not guilty to the charges in an arraignment after the indictments were returned yesterday and a trial date was set for Jan. 22.
It has been learned, that prosecutors and police were about to release Earman after their 11-hour meeting that ended early in the morning of Sept. 8, but arrested him after they discovered that he had removed a lie detector test administered to him earlier at police headquarters.
Sources close to the case said that everyone involved in the meeting was about to leave when Earman announced that he had misplaced his keys and went back into the examination room, where he was observed removing the test.
Earman told The Post that he stuffed the test into his pants because "it seemed like a good idea at the time - I was gonna put it in the book." Earman is collaborating with writer H. Kaya Ploss of Washington on a book about his life.
According to sources close to the case, police were planning to charge Earman with conspirace to murder at some later date, but decided to detain immediately because his actions indicated to them a desperate state of mind. He was released the next afternoon on $2,000 bond and remains free on that bond.
Earman said yesterday that he "can't believe" that he was the only person charged with crimes in the slaying.
According to sources close to police and prosecutors. Earman is maintaining he was the middleman in the murder and that he arranged to have Foreman killed by a professional at the request of another man in order to collect Foreman's $56,000 life insurance policy.
According to this latest version which Earman gave during the 11-hour session with police, and which Earman confirmed to The Post yesterday, Earman was in the back seat of Foreman's Jaguar when the couple was killed. Witnesses have testified Earman left a Wasington night club
Before his trial last year Earman told The Post that Foreman and Shoemaker had dropped him off at his car in front of Foreman's house, and that he drove away as the couple left to get some food. Earman said yesterday that this version was not correct. Earman also first told police during the 11-hour session that he himself had killed the couple.
Earman was arrested in Stanton, Mich., two months ago and charged with breaking and entering. "I thought I had had it," Earman told the Post this week. Hoping to save himself from a long jail term, in the Michigan case, Earman said he told a visiting Arlington detective that a certain man had done the killings, and that a third man, whom Earman also named, had asked that Earman arrange the killings.
Earman said he did not fear retribution from the killer because police in various jurisdictions were seeking the man as a suspect in other crimes, and the man apparently could not be found.
However last month, the man Earman identified as the killer was arrested in New Jersey on robbery charges. Earman, claiming he feared reprisals from the man's friends, went to Arlington police on Sept. 7 and said he had killed the couple.
Police, however, already had been to New Jersey and told Earman they had played a tape recording of Earman's Michigan accusation to the alleged killer. Earman, then changed his story, saying he was a middle man in the killings.
The Michigan charges against Earman were dropped last month.