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Local murder suspects sports criminal past
Sep 05, 2006 12:00 am
The Lebanon man arrested for allegedly pushing a homeless Nashville woman into the Cumberland River has a history of domestic assault and resisting arrest, local police say.
Timothy S. Webber, 21, of Tribble Lane in Lebanon, and Josh S. Dotts, 22, of Smalling Road in Lafayette, were charged Thursday with criminal homicide in the death of Tara Denise Cole. Both men are accused of rolling Cole into the Cumberland River at Nashville's Riverfront Park on Aug. 11.
Lebanon police said Webber has a history of violence locally.
His criminal past in Lebanon started in December 2004 when he was arrested in December 2004 on charges of domestically assaulting his girlfriend, Lebanon Police Chief Scott Bowen said Friday.
"According to her, she was assaulted by Webber and she had signs where she had been assaulted," Bowen said.
Less than six months later, Webber was charged with resisting arrest, underage consumption of alcohol and public intoxication. Police said Webber and an accomplice were caught urinating on a Lebanon police car by an off-duty police officer in June 2005.
"While he was waiting for on-duty police officers to arrive … Webber began resisting arrest and had to be forcefully restrained," Bowen said.
The police chief admitted the two incidents in the past two years weren't the first time Webber has had brushes with the law. Bowen pointed out Webber has a juvenile record.
According to a press release Metro Police issued Thursday, Webber is believed to have actually pushed Cole into the water, where her body was recovered after it was dislodged from a barge anchored at Riverfront Park.
Two others who were with Webber and Dotts have been deemed witnesses and were not charged, police said.
Metro Police said the break in the case happened when someone with knowledge of the murder contacted police after seeing the video on local television.
Dotts admitted his involvement when interviewed by detectives, and Webber was arrested Thursday at his Lebanon home.
Metro Police said an investigation shows Webber and Dotts were in Nashville to harass and assault homeless persons. Both were charged with aggravated assault. They are accused of striking another homeless woman in the face with a bottle shortly before they found Cole, police said.
"The actions of these two men are sickening," Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas said. "I am greatly disturbed they chose to travel into our downtown area from other counties to bully the homeless."
Both men are being held without bond at the Davidson County Jail.
Staff Writer Jason Cox can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 45 or by e-mail at email@example.com.