A 43-year-old man appeared in court charged with murder following the death of a man who had suffered head injuries.
Leslie Dowson, of St Oswald's Street, Hartlepool, appeared in custody before Teesside Magistrates' Court charged with the murder of Stanley Burgon, 56, in Rydal Street, Hartlepool, on November 21, last year.
Police were called to the street following reports of a disturbance.
Mr Burgon was taken to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough where he died three days later.
Dowson spoke only to confirm his name and address.
Prosecutor Joanne Hesse said the charge of murder meant the case had to be sent to Teesside Crown Court to be heard within 48 hours.
Neil Taylor, defending, said: "I have spoken with Mr Dowson this morning, and he understands this hearing is only the start of the process."
The bench ordered the case to sent to Teesside Crown Court to be heard on Friday morning.
Dowson was remanded in custody.
Cleveland Police confirmed a 32-year-old woman arrested as part of their inquiry has been released with no further action.