Three men, including one who spent more than five years in prison for his part in a Washington area burglary ring, were indicted by an Arlington grand jury yesterday on charges of murdering an Arlington real estate agent and his financee last month.

Arrested last night was Richard Lee Earman, 34, who was convicted of several residential burglaries in 1968 in connection with what police called the Beltway burglary ring that committed as many as 5,000 housebreakings in the suburbs. He was held without bond, according to Arlington Commonwealth's Attorney William S. Burroughs.

Earman is charged with murdering Alan W. Foreman and Donna Shoemaker, whose bodies were found May 8 in Foreman's yellow Jaguar car in the garage of Foreman's North Arlington home.

Also indicted were Joseph N. Martin, an insurance agent with the New York Life Insurance Co., and Charles Silcox, 32, district manager for the Door Stores Inc.

All three men were indicted on seven counts each of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, use of a fire-arm and robbery.

According to Burroughs, neither Martin nor Silcox was arrested but both are scheduled to appear in Arlington Circuit Court this morning.

Although Burroughs would not speculate on the motive for the double slaying, sources familiar with the investigation said that Silcox was the beneficiary of a large insurance policy on Foreman's life.

Earman was a real estate salesman for Town and Country Properties, the same firm that Foreman worked for at the time of his murder.

Foreman's and Shoemaker's bodies were found early May 8, a Sunday, with multiple bullet wounds in their heads.

The indictments, Burroughs said, were the result of a month-long investigation by the county police department's robbery-homicide division, which conducted more than 100 interviews. Crucial evidence, Burroughs said, was seized in a search of Earmans home at 7400 Howard Ct. in Falls Church last month.

Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan yesterday described Earman as "the mainstay of the Beltway burglary gang," whose members were believed by police to have cruised around the Beltway burglarizing homes in 1967 and 1968. "He had a lot of pizzazz," Horan said, describing Earman as "a very glib, very personable guy" who was "always trying to sweeten some kind of deal."

Horan said that Earman was convicted of seven or eight felonies, including burglary and armed robbery, and spent five or six years in prison, both in the state penitentiary in Richmond and in the federal penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pa.

Horan said that Earman then spent some time in halfway house in the District of Columbia and after that in work release program in Vienna, Va., before going to work for Town and County Properties.

Horan said that Earman escaped from Fairfax County authorities in September, 1968, after his conviction and eluded authorities for nine months before he was caught and incarcerated in in the Richmond penitentiary.