Williams was bashed to death inside Barwon Prison last year.
His one-time friend Matthew Charles Johnson, 37, is accused of hitting him eight times with the stem of an exercise bike seat inside the prison on April 19, 2010, inflicting fatal head injuries.
At the time, the two men were inmates in the jail's high security Acacia unit.
On Wednesday, Justice Lex Lasry ordered Johnson to stand trial at the Victorian Supreme Court in Melbourne on September 5.
The hearing is expected to last four weeks.
Defence lawyer Bill Stuart said he would argue Johnson killed Williams in self defence.
"There will be no issue that Mr Johnson killed Carl Williams nor the acts that were done with intent to kill," he told the court on Wednesday.
"The issue will revolve around issues concerning statutory self defence as to my client's belief that he and others were at risk of death or really serious injury ... whether his actions were in his own mind necessary.
18 Jan 2011
Another circus at the expense of the Australian Tax payers.
A 'hit' was ordered on Williams, no one saw anything (prison guards), and now the masses are fed verbal diarrhea that it was self defense.
The Anglo - Masonic legal system is already aware of the verdict prior to any official result, but the circus has to continue for the masses.