Doctor Gets Probation for Taking Body Parts Home

From Associated Press

A neurologist who kept hundreds of body parts in his home pleaded no contest to storing or maintaining human remains without a license and was given a year of probation.

As part of his plea bargain, Dr. Joseph Warner, 49, cannot take home human specimens used in his research.

Warner, 49, accepted the terms Tuesday and left the courthouse without answering reporters’ questions.

His attorney, Chief Assistant Public Defender Johnny Kearns, said Warner, who is now with a Jacksonville medical group, is continuing his research and does consulting work. He recently wrote a book about neuroanatomy.


“Dr. Warner seems to have been portrayed somewhat as a ghoul,” Kearns said. “The materials were at his house for legitimate research purposes.”

Warner was arrested in August after police responded to a domestic battery complaint at his Gainesville home and found preserved heads, brains, arms and other body parts at his house, some stored in plastic Tupperware containers.

Warner used his home as a lab, Kearns said. It was more convenient for him to work there because of his back problems and limited mobility.

State Atty. Bill Cervone said all of the specimens, most from the University of Florida, have been returned. Before his arrest, Warner had held a courtesy appointment as an assistant professor at the University of Florida College of Medicine.

“He did not have authorization to take any human anatomical human specimens out of his laboratory to his home,” said university Health Science Center spokeswoman Arlene Phillips-Han.

A domestic battery charge against Warner for allegedly attacking his estranged wife was dropped, as was a grand theft charge.