Melinda Warner

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Dr. Melinda Warner
Law & Order character
Melinda Warner.PNG
First appearance "Noncompliance"
Portrayed by Tamara Tunie
Time on show 2000–present
Seasons 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
Credited appearances 216 episodes (SVU)
1 episode (TBJ)
217 episodes (total)
Preceded by Elizabeth Rodgers
Title Medical examiner
Family Unnamed sister
Unnamed husband
Unnamed daughter

Dr. Melinda Warner is a fictional character on the show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, played by Tamara Tunie. Tunie was originally a recurring cast member until she was added to the main credits in season 7. She became a recurring cast member again in season 13.

Character overview[edit]

As the medical examiner, Warner often works with Manhattan's Special Victims Unit by providing the detectives with forensic evidence to support their cases. She was a doctor in the United States Air Force, and served two tours of duty at Ramstein Air Base during the Gulf War before she began work as a medical examiner in NYC.

Warner has periodically taken on a more active role in the SVU squad. In the Season 7 episode "Blast," she aids Detective Stabler in locating a missing girl who was diagnosed with leukemia. Later in the same episode, she performed impromptu life-saving surgery on a man who had been shot by his own son during a bank robbery and hostage standoff. Shortly afterward, she shoots the son with the gun Detective Stabler gave to her as the son was intent on committing suicide by cop. He is quickly apprehended by the NYPD's ESU team and Warner is thanked by the wife for saving her husband.[1]

In the season 9 episode "Harm", Warner aids ADA Novak in forming a case against a New York psychiatrist who tortured prisoners in Iraq. Warner and Dr. Huang argue about the legality and integrity of what the psychiatrist did, and Warner convinces Novak that the psychiatrist could be charged with criminally negligent homicide as the doctor knew that she was harming the prisoners. Warner and Novak succeed in getting the doctor's license suspended and Warner is pleased that the doctor was sanctioned because a doctor's oath was "written for trying times" like during a war.

Although well liked among the SVU squad, she and Stabler get into an argument in the Season 11 episode "Perverted," in which Detective Benson is being looked at as a suspect in a homicide investigation because her DNA is on the murder weapon. Stabler believes that Warner botched the DNA test and needed to retest it. Warner stands up for herself by saying she did retest it and she didn't make a mistake and somehow Olivia's DNA is on that weapon. Warner finally figures out that the blood on the knife was altered to make it test like Olivia's DNA. The detectives were then able to trace the crime to the lab where a crooked doctor was altering DNA for money to frame people.

In the season 11 finale "Shattered", Warner nearly died in her own morgue when French anthropologist Dr. Sophie Gerard accidentally shot her in an attempt to kill her ex-husband as retribution for their son's death. Warner talks Benson and ADA Jo Marlowe through life-saving techniques before Gerard allows Warner to leave and seek medical attention. Warner is last seen in that episode being wheeled out of the morgue as she muttered, "Back off, vultures — I'm not dead yet." Warner's return to work is not established, but her first appearance back on screen since the shooting was in the Season 12 episode "Merchandise".[2]

Dr. Warner is married and has one daughter,[1][3] who was mentioned twice on the show, and a dog.[4] Warner states that her husband is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.[5] She also mentions having a sister who is a buyer at Saks.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Blast". Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Season 7. Episode 13. January 10, 2007. NBC.
  2. ^ "Merchandise". Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Season 12. Episode 4. October 6, 2010. NBC.
  3. ^ "Juvenile". Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Season 4. Episode 9. November 22, 2002. NBC.
  4. ^ "Beef". Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Season 11. Episode 20. April 21, 2010. NBC.
  5. ^ "Brotherhood". Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Season 5. Episode 12. January 6, 2004. NBC.
  6. ^ "Streetwise". Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Season 9. Episode 11. January 1, 2008. NBC.