Dena Carter

Dena Carter

Dena Carter is a villainess from "Deadlock," episode 17.09 of Law & Order.

She was portryed by Catherine Dent, who also appeared on CSI as the evil Kay Marquette.

Dena Carter is a defense attorney and a former prosecutor who was running for state senate in New York. However, her campaign was plagued by scandals, which resulted in low poll numbers. Needing a boost, Dena followed the case of notorious killer Leon Vorgitch, who escaped custody and killed several victims, mostly children.

The father of one victim was Robert Purcell, and Dena used his grief and anger in a villainous plot to gain more votes. She contacted Purcell and informed him of the exact time that Vorgitch would be at the courthouse, and it was there that Purcell shot and killed him. Dena took on Purcell's case and served as his defense; planning to use her position to appeal to the public's desire for the death penalty. After Connie Rubirosa and Jack McCoy discovered that Purcell may have been tipped off regarding Vorgitch's location, the latter went to Dena and confronted her regarding her role in Vorgitch's murder. Dena boldly denied the claims, but later indirectly admitted to informing Purcell, boastfully telling Jack that she did nothing wrong and he had no proof if she did.

Following Dena and Jack's closing arguments, Purcell was convicted of second-degree murder, and after the conviction, Jack showed Purcell a pair of newspaper covers--with both of them featuring Dena. Purcell was made clear that Dena used the case to further her campaign, and after he informed Jack that Dena told him about Vorgitch's whereabouts, Jack showed Arthur Branch another newspaper cover: which revealed that Dena was indicted and disbarred for her role in Vorgitch's murder.