Sex offender found living in public park

THEALKA, Ky. — A Johnson County sex offender and another person were arrested after being found living in a public park near a playground.

Around 10:30 last night, deputies on patrol at Thealka Park noticed a vehicle parked next to a shelter. They could also see an extension cord running from the vehicle to an outlet in the shelter.

Ella Colvin
Jessie Ward

When they went to investigate, they found Jessie Ward, 40, and Ella Colvin, 34, inside the vehicle. Deputies reported that Ward appeared to be under the influence and was sitting on a pair of brass knuckles.

Inside the vehicle, deputies reported finding uncapped needles, a bottle of pills, two plastic bags with white residue, another plastic bag containing blood and various items of drug paraphernalia.

Ward reportedly told the officers that he and Colvin were homeless, living in the car and staying in the park.

Ward was convicted of second-degree rape of a 12-year-old in 2007. As a registered sex offender, he is required to maintain a residence and is not allowed near playgrounds.

Ward was charged with two violations of his sex offender registration, along with public intoxication and carrying a concealed weapon. Both Ward and Colvin were charged with wanton endangerment, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, trespassing and theft of services.

They were booked in the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center.