SANTA FE, N.M. (NEWSnet/AP) — A court ruling on Friday put an involuntary manslaughter case against Alec Baldwin on track for trial in early July.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer denied a request to dismiss the case on complaints that key evidence was damaged by FBI during forensics testing.

The ruling removes one of the finals hurdles before prosecutors can bring the case to trial, with jury selection scheduled for July 9 in Santa Fe.

During rehearsal on the set of the film “Rust” in 2021, Baldwin pointed a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, and the revolver fired, killing her and wounding director Joel Souza. Baldwin has maintained that he pulled back the gun’s hammer, but not the trigger. He has pleaded not guilty.

FBI conducted an “accidental discharge” test on the gun, striking it from several angles with a rawhide mallet, eventually breaking the gun. Prosecutors plan to present evidence at trial that they say shows the firearm “could not have fired absent a pull of the trigger” and that it was working properly prior to the shooting.

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