Anne Sutherland, a professor of anthropology at UC Riverside, testified as an expert witness Friday during the penalty phase of Tony Ricky Yonko’s murder trial. Yonko, 45, a Gypsy, was convicted last month of murder for the October 2002 beating death of Paul Ngo, 41, inside his Lake Elsinore home during a burglary. The behavioral science expert witness stated that a Gypsy being convicted of murder is uncommon because of the American Gypsy culture’s distain for violence. Sutherland testified that in her extensive study of American Gypsies she had not come across a murder case involving a Gypsy defendant before this one. Tammy McCoy of PE.com also writes:
Sutherland was hired by Yonko’s defense team and testified about the Gypsy culture and the role it played in Yonko’s life. “They don’t commit acts of violence. They consider that really prohibited,” Sutherland said of her experience studying American Gypsies.