A teenager accused of the murder of a 62-year-old shop worker may be tried by a jury next year.
Ethan Mountain, 19, is accused of stabbing Joan Hoggett at the One Stop Shop on Sea Road, Sunderland, last Wednesday.
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Mountain, of Heaton Gardens, South Shields, has appeared at Newcastle Crown Court via video link to prison, this morning.
He spoke only to confirm his name and was not asked to enter a plea to the murder charge.
Prosecutor Mark Giuliani told the court: "A trial, if there is to be a trial, will last approximately four days."
Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, who appeared at the hearing via video link to Teesside Crown Court, said a trial would take place next year.
Mountain, who is to undergo psychiatric assessment, was remanded in custody.
The judge told him: "Your trial will take place next year, either February or March, the precise date we know not.
"You will be produced at Newcastle Crown Court some time in the next few months for the next hearing.
"In the meantime, you are remanded in custody."