Crime and Law

Report: Co-founder of Salt Life brand was ‘playing’ with gun when it went off, fatally shooting Lake City teen

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — New details in the arrest report for a co-founder of the Salt Life brand reveal what led up to the fatal shooting of a teen from Lake City.

Michael Hutto, 54, is facing charges of manslaughter and possession or use of a weapon in the death of 18-year-old Lora Grace Duncan.

Duncan was found on the morning of Thursday, October 29, shot to death in a hotel room at Hilton Singer Island Oceanfront/Palm Beaches Resort in Riviera Beach.

According to Hutto’s arrest report from the Riviera Beach Police Department, he and Duncan were headed to the Florida Keys to see friends of his. They stopped at the Hilton in Riviera Beach and spent time on the beach.

Later, the two were “playing inside of the hotel room as if they were shooting with their finger and a gun,” according to the report. Duncan was sitting on the bathroom counter and Hutto “pointed the gun at Gracie, at which time; it went off and shot her,” the report said.

Hutto then put the gun into his Adidas backpack, left the hotel, got into his 2020 green Dodge Challenger Hellcat, and “drove until he ran out of gas at a gas station,” the report said.

Early in the morning on Wednesday, October 28, Hutto walked into a BP station near Interstate 95 and International Golf Parkway in St. Augustine and asked for help.

He was “reportedly twitching, making delusional comments, and crying while his eyes were rolling into the back of his head,” the report detailed.

Hutto was taken to Baptist Medical Center South in Jacksonville to be treated for an overdose.

Duncan’s father called police after he hadn’t had contact with her for more than 48 hours, the report said, and he had last spoken with her on Sunday, October 25. He said he was able to track her phone to the Hilton in Riviera Beach.

Duncan’s father told police she was with Hutto, who he identified as her boyfriend. He also told police he believed that Hutto was giving his daughter drugs “to keep her sedated” and that Duncan sounded “out of character and possibly on drugs.”

Police put out a BOLO for Hutto’s green Dodge Challenger after Duncan’s body was found. The Riviera Beach Police Department was contacted by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, alerting them of Hutto’s overdose in St. Augustine and that he was taken to the hospital.

A Riviera Beach detective came to the hospital on Thursday, October 29, to talk to Hutto. During that conversation, “Hutto uttered, which was not verbatim, ‘Oh my God, I think, I hurt my Gracie' as he began to cry," according to the report. Hutto said he did not wish to speak anymore and asked the detective to return to the hospital the next day.

The detective returned to the hospital on Friday, October 30, to speak with Hutto, at which point he recounted what happened and said the gun was inside of his car, still inside of the black Adidas backpack with all of his medications.

Hutto was taken into custody by the Florida Highway Patrol that day. He was booked into the Duval County Jail and was transferred to the Palm Beach County Jail on Sunday, November 8. He is being held on a $255,000 bond.

In 2013, Hutto and the other co-founders of Salt Life sold their entire business to the new owners, the company previously said in a statement.

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