Columbia County

Salt Life co-founder sentenced to 12 years in prison for manslaughter in Lake City teen’s death

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Michael Troy Hutto, the co-founder of the Salt Life brand, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Thursday in the October 2020 death of a Lake City teen.

The Lake City teen, 18-year-old Lora Grace Duncan, was found shot to death in Hutto’s hotel room in Riviera Beach on Oct. 29, 2020.


According to Palm Beach County court documents, Duncan’s family was present at the hearing via Zoom and a victim impact statement was read in court.

Hutto pleaded guilty to manslaughter with a firearm and was credited for 79 days already served in jail.

According to Hutto’s initial 2020 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.

RELATED: Salt Life co-founder accused of killing Lake City teen in hotel room claims search was unlawful

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, 2020, Hutto walked into a BP station near Interstate 95 and International Golf Parkway in St. Augustine and asked for help.

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

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, 2020. He said he was able to track her phone to the Hilton in Riviera Beach.

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Duncan’s father told police she was with Hutto, who he identified as her boyfriend.

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, 2020 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.

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The detective returned to the hospital on Friday, October 30, 2020 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, Nov. 8, 2020.

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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