BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. – Wearing an eye patch, the ex-girlfriend of Stephen Lerario watched quietly as the 42-year-old man arrived at the Saratoga County Courthouse Wednesday.

“I would rather not get into the specifics of her injuries, other than to say they are devastating and they are forever impactful to her life," Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen said Wednesday afternoon.

In early April, prosecutors say Lerario shot Katie Gilbert in the face following an argument at their Greenfield Center home. The defendant had only been living in the region for a short time.

 “This was an incident of domestic violence,” Heggen said. “Unfortunately, we see way too often intimate partners who cause serious injuries to another."

On Wednesday, Lerario pleaded not guilty to five charges, including attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon. Heggen says more often than not, the violent crimes her office prosecutes are domestic in nature.

"In general, domestic violence cases escalate in very short matters, oftentimes in general, and can bring about very devastating results and injuries,” she said.

Lerario, whose attorney declined comment, remains in custody with no bail set.

"We are very early on in the process as it relates to whether or not a trial is going to happen or not,” Heggen said.

Lerario’s trial is scheduled to begin November 13. If convicted, the maximum penalty for attempted murder is 25 years in prison; however, because Lerario has two prior felony convictions from Sullivan County on his record, Judge James Murphy could decide to sentence him to life behind bars.