‘I can’t bring myself to lock her up’: Fairfield woman convicted in husband’s shooting won’t go to jail

Subha Katel was sentenced to a 180-day suspended jail term by Fairfield Municipal Court Judge Joyce Campbell on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019. Katel was found guilty on Dec. 5 with negligent homicide in the shooting death of her husband, Tika Katel, who died in August 2019. Pictured is Subha Katel in October for a pre-trial hearing. NICK GRAHAM/FILE

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Subha Katel was sentenced to a 180-day suspended jail term by Fairfield Municipal Court Judge Joyce Campbell on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019. Katel was found guilty on Dec. 5 with negligent homicide in the shooting death of her husband, Tika Katel, who died in August 2019. Pictured is Subha Katel in October for a pre-trial hearing. NICK GRAHAM/FILE

A Fairfield woman found guilty of negligent homicide in the August death of her husband will not go to jail.

Subha Katel, 43, of Fairfield, changed her plea on Dec. 5 from not guilty to no contest and was found guilty. Thursday she was in court to be sentenced, but Fairfield Municipal Court Judge Joyce Campbell said, “Maybe it’s (Tika Katel’s) soul that’s here, but I can’t bring myself to lock her up. I just can’t.”

The judge sentenced Katel to a 180-day suspended jail sentence, $1,000 fine and reporting probation for five years. She is also prohibited from leaving the county, state and country without permission, and cannot possess or own a weapon.

Finally, the judge ordered Katel to go through mental health counseling as she continues to mourn the loss of her husband, recommended her one minor and two adult children do the same.

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.

Campbell said this was the third case she’s tried in the past 20-plus years that’s been “the most difficult,” troublesome” and “most heartwrenching” for her.

“But I’m entrusted by the public to have the wisdom and the wherewithal to not just do the right thing but to dispense justice,” Campbell said.

After delivering Katel’s sentence, she said, “I believe that I dispensed justice today and If I’m wrong, I guess I’ll answer to a higher power. Take care of one another.”

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