Dotts and Webber were also charged with aggravated assault for striking Jessie Masters, 26, a homeless man, in the face with a bottle.
Dotts is believed to be the one who struck Masters, and Webber is believed to be the one who pushed Cole into the river, according to a Metro Nashville Police Department media release.
Information that Josh Dotts had been arrested later on August 11, in Lafayette, and charged with DUI, just 18 hours after the alleged attack on Jessie Masters and the death of Tara Cole, came to light with the breaking news of the Nashville arrests on August 24.
Dotts was squealing his tires and speeding, according to LPD Sergeant Ray Amalfitano, who pulled the vehicle over in the Krystal parking lot, at about 9:30 p.m. on August 11.
Timothy Webber was a passenger in the vehicle driven by Dotts that night, but he was not charged with a violation, according to Sgt. Amalfitano.
“I called for back-up when I observed both suspects acting extremely nervous. I searched the vehicle and didn't find any weapons, just a bottle of liquor,” Sgt. Amalfitano said.
“Dotts was swaying and staggering. I administered three field sobriety tests and he couldn't execute any of them. He registered .19 on the breath test and .08 is the limit, so I arrested him,” the sergeant explained.
The big break in the case of the assault on Jessie Masters and the drowning death of Tara Cole came when a person with knowledge about the murder contacted police after seeing downtown surveillance video on TV, according to Nashville police reports.
Two friends, who traveled to Nashville with Dotts and Webber, and are considered witnesses, were reported to have told police the men went downtown with plans to rough up people sleeping on the streets near Riverfront Park .
“When they came to Nashville, two wanted to see some girls and two wanted to get rowdy,” said Nashville Detective Ricky Winfrey.
The four men became separated during a foot chase after Dotts allegedly struck Masters.
Two of the men returned to the car, but Dotts and Webber went back into the park, according to witnesses.
Several other homeless people in the area went in the water after Cole, but were unable to save her from drowning. The incident happened at about 3:00 a.m. on August 11.
Dotts and Webber went to Nashville on the night of the murder to harass and assault the homeless, Detective Ricky Winfrey and the other Nashville investigators concluded.
Josh Dotts was a 2002 graduate of MCHS. Other than occasionally breaking school rules, he was not involved in any serious trouble, according to school board officials.
Timothy Webber has been arrested at least three times, previously. Charges include car theft, possession, public intoxication, and resisting arrest, according to Lebanon police.
Dotts has had a few citations, but no prior arrests in Lafayette , according to LPD records.
Tara Denise Cole's death has called attention to the plight of Nashville 's homeless community. A nightly vigil was held in Nashville , until Cole's body was found under a barge used for concerts on the river, more than ten days after she drowned.
Cole was living as a homeless person, but she was not without a home, according to her family members who reported they have not seen her for three years, and thought she was living in a shelter.
Cole began showing signs of bipolar disorder in her early 20s, and she often stopped taking her medication, according to her family.
She was shy, and often slept on the pier, and Cole had an active bank account, according to reports from the Tennessean.
“The actions of these two men are sickening. I am greatly disturbed that they chose to travel into our downtown area from other counties to bully the homeless,” Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas said in a media release.
Dotts and Webber were held in the Metro Nashville jail, pending a preliminary hearing of the charges against them.