The co-founder of the Salt Life Apparel brand will spend 12 years in prison for a teenager’s death.
Michael “Troy” Hutto, 56, pleaded guilty to manslaughter with a gun during a hearing Thursday in West Palm Beach.
Investigators say Hutto shot and killed 18-year-old Lora Grace Duncan at a resort on Singer Island in 2020.
Hutto was later arrested in Jacksonville.
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Police say the teen’s father requested a welfare check and tracked her phone to the hotel when they found her dead on the floor.
She had suffered a gunshot wound to her stomach.
The hotel room was in Hutto’s name, and they found his wallet and ID inside, and surveillance footage showed Hutto leaving the hotel with a backpack.
Duncan’s father told police he believed Hutto gave drugs to his daughter to sedate her.
Detectives found that Hutto was in the hospital for treatment after suffering an overdose as a BP gas station. Detectives asked him if he knew why they were there.
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Hutto reportedly told them “yes” and uttered “not verbatim, ‘Oh my god, I think, I think I hurt my Gracie’ as he began to cry,” the police report states.
He later told police that the shooting happened accidentally while they were “playing inside of the hotel room as if they were shooting with their finger and a gun.”
Please note, Hutto was an original co-founder of the Salt Life brand but sold the company in 2013. He is no longer affiliated with the brand.
A statement from the Salt Life company:
“Last week we learned that one of Salt Life’s original founders, Michael Hutto, pleaded guilty to charges brought against him. Our deepest sympathies are with the deceased’s family, friends, and loved ones. In 2013, the co-founders of Salt Life sold their entire business to the new owners. The co-founders have not been associated with the brand in any way since the purchase in 2013.”
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