Two men accused of murder may face a trial by jury in the summer.
Brian Goldsmith, 47, and Luc Barker, 28, are both charged with killing Gavin Moon in an attack last week.
Mr Moon, a 31-year-old dad from Washington, was found dead at a flat in Trafalgar Road, Sulgrave, January 8.
He had suffered a fatal stab wound.
Goldsmith, of Wayman Street, Sunderland, and Barker, of Trafalgar Road, Washington, have both appeared at Newcastle Crown Court today.
The men, who appeared via video link to HMP Durham, were not asked to enter pleas to the murder charge.
Judge Paul Sloan QC ordered that a plea hearing will take place on February 11.
A trial, which could take ten days, has been listed on June 18.
Judge Sloan told the men: "I am going to adjourn your case to a further pre-trial hearing. That hearing will be listed on February 11.
"Pending that hearing, you will both be remanded in custody."