Richard Lee Earman told an Arlington Circuit Court jury yesterday that he stalked and killed a young Arlington couple in 1977 for the promise of $15,000 by Joseph N. Martin, who is on trial on a murder-for-hire charge.

Martin, a 28-year-old former life insurance salesman, is accused of hiring Earman to kill Alan Foreman and Donna Shoemaker in order to collect on a $56,000 life insurance policy Martin sold Foreman. If convicted, Martin could be sentenced to death.

The testimony from Earman, a 36-year-old former real estate agent, came in the second week of Martin's trial.

Earman was acquitted of murder charges by a jury in 1977. Earlier this year, as a result of a plea bargain, he agreed to testify against Martin and plead guilty to a murder conspiracy charge. He is jailed waiting sentencing on that charge, for which he could receive up to 10 years in prison.

Earman repeated for the jury yesterday testimony he gave last April at Martin's preliminary hearing. He clamly related that he and Martin plotted the slayings and he subsequently shot the couple to death in the garage of their North Arlington home in May 1977.

Earman testified that he called Martin the day after the slayings. "I said something like, 'the ball game's over. You don't have to worry.' He [Martin] got real excited."

At a party on the day Earman was acquitted, Earman testified, Martin "was as happy as I was. He said something like 'well, we beat them.'" Murder charges against Martin were dropped during Earman's 1977 trial.

The trial is scheduled to continue today.