Schmuck of the Week

Jake and Kendra Warrum's True Love Dies With Sleazy Arson, Donation Scheme

Jake and Kendra Warrum were among 2014's most popular Schmucks of the Week — probably because of the disconnect between idealized photos like the one above and the crime they were accused of committing.

Cops said the Warrums burned down their house for the insurance money last September 14, then accepted donations from neighbors moved by their plight.

Now, they're back due to the resolution of the cases against them — and the end of their love story.

The pair have both pleaded guilty — and Kendra reportedly filed for divorce.

As we've reported, Jake served as a staff sergeant based at Fort Carson; he was assigned to the 71st ordinance group, a unit that specializes in explosives — meaning he had more than a little experience with flammable stuff. In addition, he's said to have owned a side business that manufactured gun holsters.

Business may not have been all that great. An arrest affidavit maintained that Warrum increased the insurance coverage on his home, located at 7568 Chasewood Loop, in the days before the structure went up in flames.

Afterward, the Warrums' neighbors pitched in to help out the young couple. KKTV estimates that approximately $1,000 was raised — a total that included the savings of several kids who are said to have contributed the contents of their piggy banks.

Bet investigators wish they'd been able to warn them against handing over their pennies in advance. KRDO-TV revealed that the house smelled of gasoline when firefighters arrived on the scene. Investigators subsequently found two fuel containers that didn't have to be emblazoned with a label reading "Arson Evidence" to get the cops' thoughts headed in that direction.

The noose tightened thanks to a surveillance camera that captured footage of a truck driving past the house shortly before the fire got started — and the vehicle matched one Jake had borrowed from a buddy ID'd by the Colorado Springs Gazette as Ty Kludt, another Fort Carson soldier.

Well, maybe "buddy" is too strong a term, as you'll see.

The Warrums had told police they'd been camping when their house ignited, but the cops had their doubts; Jake told them they'd slept in a tent, while Kendra, quizzed separately, said they'd bunked in their car. And these suspicions were affirmed when Kludt reportedly reached out to say Warrum had offered him between $5,000 and $10,000 to say the truck had been either sold or stolen.

Rather than taking the money, Kludt cooperated with police by luring Jake into a conversation in which the latter allegedly confessed to causing the conflagration.

Hence, the Warrums' arrest — him on suspicion of arson and an attempt to bribe a witness, her on a conspiracy-to-commit-insurance-fraud beef.

In the end, the Gazette reveals, Kendra pleaded guilty to the charge against her. The sentence: two years probation.

The punishment was tougher for Jake. He entered a guilty plea for third-degree arson in June, and this week, he was given a two-year jolt in prison.

His beloved probably won't be waiting for him upon his release. The Gazette notes that Kendra submitted divorce papers in October 2014, the month after the arson deal went down.

Instead of firing up their romance, the blaze — and its aftermath — apparently snuffed it out. Here are the booking photos of Jake and Kendra, followed by a KRDO-TV report about the fire.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.