Alec Baldwin is set to stand trial on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the 2021 killing of "Rust" cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. This decision comes after a New Mexico judge denied Baldwin's motion to dismiss the case. Baldwin, who has pleaded not guilty, is scheduled to go to trial in July.

"We look forward to our day in court," Baldwin's attorneys, Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro, said in a statement on Friday.

Judge Mary Marlowe made the ruling following oral arguments from both Baldwin's lawyers and prosecutors in a Santa Fe court on May 17. During the hearing, special prosecutor Kari T. Morrissey argued that Baldwin had a responsibility for the firearms once they were in his hands. Baldwin's attorneys countered that the case should be dismissed because Morrissey failed to present critical evidence during a grand jury proceeding in January that led to Baldwin's indictment.

The charge of involuntary manslaughter carries a maximum prison sentence of 18 months if Baldwin is convicted. Hutchins was killed on October 21, 2021, as Baldwin rehearsed a scene on the "Rust" set. Baldwin has maintained that Hutchins instructed him to aim the gun at her while he practiced a cross-draw maneuver. As he performed the move, the gun discharged a live round, fatally striking Hutchins and injuring the film's director, Joel Souza. Baldwin has asserted in interviews that he did not pull the trigger and that the gun malfunctioned.

Prosecutors initially charged Baldwin and the film's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, with involuntary manslaughter in January 2023. Two months later, special prosecutor Andrea Reeb resigned from the case. Her replacement announced in April that the charge against Baldwin would be temporarily dismissed due to new facts in the case. Baldwin subsequently returned to Montana to complete filming "Rust" as part of a settlement with Hutchins' family.

In January, a grand jury re-indicted Baldwin on the same manslaughter charge, to which he pleaded not guilty. Gutierrez-Reed was convicted in March of involuntary manslaughter but was found not guilty of tampering with evidence. She is serving an 18-month sentence at the Western New Mexico Correctional Facility.

Baldwin and Matthew Hutchins, Halyna Hutchins' husband, agreed in 2022 to settle the lawsuit her family filed against Baldwin. Matthew Hutchins was named an executive producer on "Rust" as part of the settlement. In a statement at the time, Matthew Hutchins said, "I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame. All of us believe Halyna's death was a terrible accident."

Judge Marlowe's ruling to deny Baldwin's motion to dismiss the indictment is significant. Baldwin's defense argued that the grand jury process was prejudiced and did not follow proper procedures. They claimed that prosecutors diverted attention away from exculpatory evidence and witnesses. However, the judge concluded that the process was not biased against Baldwin.

During the May 17 hearing, Baldwin's legal team, appearing virtually, argued that the prosecution did not follow the rules during the grand jury proceedings. Lead attorney Alex Spiro focused on allegations that witnesses were not properly alerted ahead of the grand jury. Special prosecutor Morrissey called Spiro's argument a "complete misrepresentation" and defended the integrity of the grand jury process.

In addition to the initial motion to dismiss, Baldwin has filed two more motions. One motion alleges destruction of evidence related to the firearm, and the other claims a failure to allege a criminal act. The state responded to both motions on May 21, but a court hearing for these motions has not yet been scheduled.