Asif Rehman, 20, and Adel Ishaq, 19, are alleged to have attacked William McKeeney near his home in Melville Street, Pollokshields, in Glasgow on 15 January.
Mr McKeeney, 57, a truck driver who was originally from Malin Head in Inishowen, later died in hospital.
At the High Court in Glasgow, both accused denied murdering Mr McKeeney.
It is alleged that Mr Rehman and Mr Ishaq caused Mr McKeeney to fall to the ground and repeatedly punched, kicked, stamped and jumped on his head and body.
The area in which he was living was a predominantly Asian community.
In court, Mr Rehman admitted killing Mr McKeeney by causing him to fall to the ground and repeatedly kicking him on the head and body, under deletion of the racial aggravation element of the charge.
However, this plea to the reduced charge of culpable homicide was rejected by the court.
Mr Rehman denies attempting to defeat the ends of justice by changing his clothing before returning to Melville Street.
Mr Ishaq is also accused of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by giving clothing and footwear to Umar Nisar Bhatti, who destroyed them by setting them on fire and by attempting to induce Bashir Ahmed to give him £500 so that he could flee Glasgow.
He denies all the charges against him.
The court was told that the Crown is not ready for trial and a further preliminary hearing was set for next month.