Saratoga County man sentenced for trying to kill then-girlfriend

May 03, 2019 07:20 PM

BALLSTON SPA - In addition to 25 years, Stephen Lerario could get an award for understatement of the year. Lerario saying in court Friday, "I'm just here to say I'm a regular guy your honor, just like everybody else. I make mistakes."

His mistakes nearly resulted in the death of his girlfriend, Katie Gilbert, back on April 7, 2018.


He shot her in the face with a shotgun inside the Greenfield trailer they shared with their child.

At Lerario's sentencing Friday, Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Buckley read Gilbert's victim impact statement.
"I was fighting for my life due to you tragically trying to kill me," read Buckley. "I see your horrific face and the gun being pointed between my eyes. The nightmares I have of you are terrifying."

Gilbert suffered a brain injury and lost an eye.

Prosecutors asked for the maximum, citing Lerario's criminal history dating back 23 years, and saying he doesn't accept responsibility.

Lerario's attorney, Matthew Maiello, disagrees.

"My client has shown empathy and remorse towards Miss Gilbert. He's shown that to me since the first occasion I spoke to him."

If Lerario is sorry, he wasn't saying it in court Friday.
"What happened that night to Katie was terrible. My heart goes out to her and our lives are never going to be the same."

Lerario asked for the minimum sentence, but Judge Frank Milano gave him the max -- 25 years and Gilbert's family, dressed in purple, the color associated with domestic violence awareness, all left the courtroom without hearing an apology.

"As the judge noted, he was blaming somebody else," said Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen. "To this very day, he does not accept responsibility that he has forever altered the life of the woman that he purports to have loved."


Mark Mulholland

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