Two men accused of killing Tipu Sultan - who was shot dead outside his family takeaway - face trial next year.
Michael McDougall, 47, and Michael Mullen, 24, are accused of shooting the 32-year-old father outside Herbs and Spice at Lake Avenue, South Shields.
Prosecutor Jolyon Perks told Newcastle Crown Court: “Both defendants are sent in relation to a joint allegation of murder.
“It was committed on April 7 2015.”
McDougall, of Hylton Avenue, South Shields and Mullen, of Hawthorne Avenue, South Shields, appeared at the hearing via video link to HMP Durham.
They were not asked to enter pleas to the charge.
Both men will be back in court on October 1 for a plea hearing.
A trial date has been set for February 1 next year.