Fairfield woman pleads no contest in husband’s shooting death

A Fairfield woman charged in the shooting death of her husband was found guilty today of negligent homicide after changing her plea.

Subha Katel, 43, was charged on Aug. 13 with the first-degree misdemeanor charge three days after what family members called a "horrific accident," and a day after her husband, Tika Katel, died from a gunshot wound to his head.

Katel changed her plea from not guilty to no contest. Fairfield Municipal Court Judge Joyce Campbell said “based on the facts” found Katel guilty.

Her sentencing hearing is set for Dec. 19.


Police say that just after 3 p.m. Aug. 10, Katel removed a holstered handgun from the waistband of a cousin who was with other relatives visiting from Pennsylvania, according to court documents.

The cousin, Subash Katel, was seated in the living room and “in a matter of seconds, Subha Katel saw the gun and grabbed the gun from the holster.” She questioned if the gun was real or a toy.

Police say the weapon fired as she was attempting to hand the gun back to her cousin. Subha Katel told police the gun “went off” when she attempted to give back the gun, and was uncertain whether she actually handed it back to her cousin or she dropped it when it discharged.

Family members spoke with the Journal-News after Katel’s August arraignment and said the couple, who had been together for 26 years, were living the American Dream and “loved each other.” They moved to Fairfield a year ago and moved to southwest Ohio from Nepal several years before.

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