Melinda Warner

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Dr. Melinda Warner
Law & Order character
Melinda Warner.PNG
First appearance November 24, 2000
(episode 2.06: "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, 16, 17, 19
Credited appearances 222 episodes (SVU)
1 episode (TBJ)
1 episode (CF)
224 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. Between season 17 and 19 she was appointed to Chief Medical Examiner.

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 is a veteran of the United States Air Force. She served two tours of duty as a physician 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. For example, in one episode she aids Detective Elliot Stabler in locating a missing girl who was diagnosed with leukemia. Later in the same episode, she performs impromptu life-saving surgery on a man who had been shot during a bank robbery and hostage standoff. Shortly afterward, she shoots the assailant in the leg to prevent him committing suicide by cop.[1]

Warner aids ADA Casey Novak in forming a case against a New York psychiatrist who tortured prisoners in Iraq. Warner and FBI forensic psychiatrist George 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.[2]

Although well liked among the SVU squad, she and Stabler get into an argument in the Season 11 episode "Perverted", in which Detective Olivia Benson is suspected 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 Benson's DNA. The detectives were then able to trace the crime to the lab where a doctor was altering DNA to frame people.[3]

In the Season 11 finale "Shattered", Warner nearly dies in her own morgue when anthropologist Dr. Sophie Gerard accidentally shoots her during a standoff with the detectives after suffering a psychotic nervous breakdown. Warner talks Benson and ADA Jo Marlowe through life-saving techniques before Gerard allows Warner to leave and seek medical attention. Warner makes a wisecrack to the waiting media to back off because she's not dead yet thanks to Benson and Marlowe.[4] 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".[5] Warner has made sporadic appearances since then, although she is frequently mentioned.

Dr. Warner is married and has one daughter,[1][6] who was mentioned twice on the show, and a dog.[7] Warner states that her husband is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.[8] She also mentions having a sister who is a buyer at Saks.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Blast". Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Season 7. Episode 13. January 10, 2007. NBC. 
  2. ^ "Harm". Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Season 9. Episode 5. October 23, 2007. NBC. 
  3. ^ "Perverted". Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Season 11. Episode 9. November 18, 2009. NBC. 
  4. ^ "Shattered". Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Season 11. Episode 24. May 19, 2010. NBC. 
  5. ^ "Merchandise". Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Season 12. Episode 4. October 6, 2010. NBC. 
  6. ^ "Juvenile". Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Season 4. Episode 9. November 22, 2002. NBC. 
  7. ^ "Beef". Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Season 11. Episode 20. April 21, 2010. NBC. 
  8. ^ "Brotherhood". Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Season 5. Episode 12. January 6, 2004. NBC. 
  9. ^ "Streetwise". Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Season 9. Episode 11. January 1, 2008. NBC.