Salt Life Founder Said He Shot 18-Year-Old Girlfriend by Accident After Her Body Was Found in Hotel Room

Michael Hutto, a co-founder of the Salt Life apparel brand, was charged with manslaughter in the death of his 18-year-old girlfriend, Lora Grace Duncan. The 54-year-old Hutto allegedly told detectives the shooting was an accident. Hutto was arrested on manslaughter on Oct. 30 and was booked at the Palm Beach County, Florida jail on Sunday.

Hutto allegedly shot Duncan at the Hilton Singer Island resort in Riviera Beach, Florida. According to the probable cause affidavit obtained by WPTV, Duncan's father asked police to do a welfare check on Oct. 29 after he had not heard from his daughter in the past few days. He used her cell phone's location to discover she was staying at the hotel. When police found her, she was dead with a gunshot wound in the stomach. The room was rented in Hutto's name, and he allegedly left his wallet and ID in the room, police said.

The day before police discovered Duncan's body, Hutto was in a Jacksonville hospital. St. Johns County deputies discovered his car illegally parked at a St. Augustine gas station. He was found "twitching, making delusional comments and crying while his eyes were rolling into the back of his head," police said. Detectives questioned Hutto about Duncan at the hospital, where he allegedly told them he "hurt my Gracie" and cried, according to the affidavit.

In another interview with detectives, Hutto said he and Duncan were going to the Florida Keys and stopped at the Hilton on the way. In the room, the two were "playing" as if they "were shooting with their finger and a gun," the affidavit reads. Hutto shot Duncan when she was sitting on the counter in the bathroom, he told detectives. Afterward, he put the gun in his backpack and drove until he was out of gas. Duncan's gather told police Hutto was in a relationship with his daughter. He also accused Hutto of using drugs to sedate her.


Hutto was in court Monday morning, with the judge setting his bond at $255,000. He was also ordered not to have weapons or make contact with Duncan's family. According to Salt Life, Hutto and the brand's other co-founders sold the business to new owners in 2013 and is no longer involved in the company. "Sadly we have learned one of Salt Life’s co-founders has been charged with a felony," the company said in a statement on Twitter. "Salt Life sends their utmost sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased."