The Fairfield woman accused in the August shooting death of her husband will be in court this week as the next step in an incident that shocked the community and caused her family to jump to her defense.
Subha Katel, 43, was charged on Aug. 13 with negligent homicide, a first-degree misdemeanor, three days after what family members called a “horrific accident.” Police say Katel was handling a handgun belonging to a cousin who was visiting Tika Katel’s ill mother on Aug. 10 at their Sigmon Way home.
Police say the gun fired and the bullet struck the Tika Katel, 57, in the head.
Tika Katel was transported to Mercy Health-Fairfield Hospital, then to University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he died on Aug. 12. Police charged Subha Katel on Aug. 13, and she later appeared in Fairfield Municipal Court.
Tina Barrett, attorney for Subha Katel, wouldn’t comment on the case but said Wednesday’s hearing “is an informal meeting between the prosecutor and the defense attorney to discuss the position of the state on the charges and evidence.”
Barrett said that sometimes police officers and others involved are subpoenaed to attend, and many times the hearing is continued if more information is needed, or an issue arises. Other possible outcomes for Wednesday’s hearing include setting a trial date or entering a plea.
“Best I can offer is that one of those will happen,” Barrett said.
Fairfield Police Sgt. Pete Lagemann said the department consulted with the city prosecutor and Butler County Prosecutor’s Office before he filed the misdemeanor charge. Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser said Subha Katel was charged because she was negligent in touching the weapon without knowing if it would go off.
Family members spoke with the Journal-News after Katel’s Aug. 13 arraignment. They said the couple, who had been together for 26 years, were living the American Dream and “loved each other.” They moved to Fairfield less than a year ago, and moved to southwest Ohio from Nepal several years before.
Family members say Subha Katel will either be acquitted, or believe the charges will be dropped.
Fairfield Municipal Court Judge Joyce Campbell ordered Subha Katel wear an electronic monitoring device around her ankle. She also surrendered her passport and is regulated to travel only in Ohio.
Staff reporter Lauren Pack contributed to this story.