The preliminary hearing for two men accused of killing a homeless man in a rural Nova Scotia community has been set for February.

Harley Lawrence

Harley Lawrence, pictured here when he was young, died in a suspicious fire at a bus shelter last year in Berwick, N.S. (Submitted)

The seven-day preliminary hearing for Daniel Wayne Surette and Kyle David James Fredericks will begin Feb. 9 in Kentville provincial court.

They each face a charge of first-degree murder in the death of 62-year-old Harley Lawrence.

Defence attorneys for Surette and Fredericks consented to a trial for second-degree murder in Lawrence's death, saying the Crown must prove it was first-degree murder.

Lawrence's body was found on Oct. 23 in a burned-out bus shelter in Berwick, a small town about 120 kilometres northwest of Halifax.

The defence attorneys and the Crown had previously disagreed on how long a preliminary inquiry would take, so the judge agreed to set the case over.

Police have released few details about the case, including how Lawrence died.

With files from The Canadian Press