Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Salt Life founder, 54, is charged with manslaughter after admitting to shooting dead his 18-year-old girlfriend during a 'play gun fight' in a Florida hotel room

 The 54-year-old founder of the Salt Life beach clothing brand has admitted to fatally shooting his 18-year-old girlfriend during a 'play' gun fight in a Florida hotel room, police say. 

Michael Troy Hutto was charged with manslaughter on Monday following the shooting death of his girlfriend Lora Grace Duncan in a Palm Beach hotel last month. 

Hutto was arrested back on October 30 after his girlfriend's body was discovered inside a room at the Hilton Singer Island Oceanfront resort a day earlier. 


He was taken into custody at a Jacksonville hospital, some 280 miles away from the hotel, after he overdosed in his car at a gas station, according to his arrest report. 

When he was questioned by detectives at the hospital, Hutto allegedly said: 'Oh my God, I think I hurt my Gracie'.

Michael Troy Hutto was charged with manslaughter on Monday following the shooting death of his girlfriend Lora Grace Duncan in a Palm Beach hotel last month. He made a brief appearance in Palm Beach County Court where his bail was set at $255,000

Michael Troy Hutto was charged with manslaughter on Monday following the shooting death of his girlfriend Lora Grace Duncan in a Palm Beach hotel last month. He made a brief appearance in Palm Beach County Court where his bail was set at $255,000

Lora Grace Duncan
Michael Troy Hutto

Hutto was arrested back on October 30 after Duncan's body was discovered inside a room at the Hilton Singer Island Oceanfront resort a day earlier

Police said Hutto then admitted to shooting Duncan while the two were having a play gun fight inside the hotel room by using their finger and the weapon, the arrest report says.  

Hutto said that Duncan was sitting on the bathroom counter when he pointed the gun at her and accidentally fired.

Hutto told police that he then put the gun in his bag, left Duncan in the room and then drove until he ran out of gas.

Duncan's body was discovered inside the hotel room a day later after her father reported he hadn't heard from her in two days. 

Her father told police that Hutto and his daughter were in a relationship and that she 'sounded out of character' when they last spoke, according to the arrest report.

He added that he believed Hutto had been given his daughter drugs.  

Duncan's father tracked her phone to the hotel and asked police to check on her. 

They found her dead on the floor with a single gunshot wound to her stomach. 

He was taken into custody at a Jacksonville hospital, some 280 miles away from the hotel (above), after he overdosed in his car at a gas station, according to his arrest report

He was taken into custody at a Jacksonville hospital, some 280 miles away from the hotel (above), after he overdosed in his car at a gas station, according to his arrest report

Photos from his arrest show him dressed in green hospital scrubs and red skid-proof socks
Photos from his arrest show him dressed in green hospital scrubs and red skid-proof socks

Photos from his arrest show him dressed in green hospital scrubs and red skid-proof socks

Duncan's body was discovered inside the hotel room a day later after her father reported he hadn't heard from her in two days

Duncan's body was discovered inside the hotel room a day later after her father reported he hadn't heard from her in two days

Hutto's belongings, including his wallet and an ID card, were found in the room. 

Police then began searching for Hutto and located him at the hospital 280 miles away. 

He had been taken there a day earlier after asking for help at a gas station. Witnesses told police that he was 'twitching, making delusional comments and crying while his eyes were rolling into the back of his head', according to the arrest report. 

Photos from his arrest show him dressed in green hospital scrubs and red skid-proof socks. 

Hutto made a brief appearance via video at Palm Beach County Court on Monday where the judge set his bond at $255,000, noting that he was considered a 'flight risk'. 

He remained in jail and a lawyer for him was not listed on court records. 

Hutto and some friends started the Salt Life clothing brand back in 2003 with it being aimed at boaters, surfers and fishermen.

He is credited with coming up with the name. 

Salt Life issued a statement last week saying Hutto had not been involved with the company since he and his partners sold the business in 2013 for nearly $40 million. 

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