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Shelley Malil

San Diego Union Tribune/ZUMA Press

Shelley Malil is maintaining his innocence.

The actor, best known for his role as one of Steve Carell's heavily accented coworkers in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to one count of attempted murder for allegedly stabbing his girlfriend at least 20 times after spying her with another man.

The charge, which includes the special circumstances of premeditation, causing great bodily injury and using a deadly weapon, carries a possible maximum sentence of life in prison.

Malil, 43, remains in custody in lieu of $10 million bail at San Diego County Detention Center, where he was booked after police busted him getting off a train in Ocean City, Calif. He had reportedly traveled to Los Angeles to meet with his attorney, who advised him to head back south and turn himself in.

Kendra Beebe, 35, was hospitalized in critical condition Sunday night. Deputies found her at her San Marcos home after neighbors reported hearing screams and glass shattering. Beebe's two young children were home at the time.

"There was a prolonged attack," prosecutor Steve Carver told reporters after Malil's arraignment hearing in San Diego Superior Court. "He came up and started stabbing her immediately without any words or argument."

It was a neighbor who ran over to Beebe's house and prevented Malil from doing more, not any second thought on the defendant's part, Carver added.

"He did not stop his murderous acts voluntarily but because of the heroic acts of the neighbor," he said.

No statement has been issued by Malil's camp since his arrest.

In court today, the actor's attorney requested that his client's $4 million bail be lowered, pointing out that he "surrendered himself." But Judge Marshall Hockett, deeming Malil a flight risk, instead bumped it up to $10 million.