Michael Hutto allegedly told detectives the shooting was an accident

By Chris Harris
November 09, 2020 11:20 AM
Advertisement

The 18-year-old woman Michael Troy Hutto is accused of fatally shooting last month inside a luxury Florida hotel room was the Salt Life co-founder's girlfriend, according to investigators.

Citing the arrest affidavit in the case, WPTV reports that Lora Grace Duncan's father told police she was in a romantic relationship with the 54-year-old suspect.

Hutto allegedly told detectives the shooting was an accident.

The affidavit alleges that, the day before Duncan's body was found inside a room at the Hilton Oceanfront resort on Singer Island, Hutto was rushed to a Jacksonville hospital after police found him in a car parked illegally outside a St. Augustine gas station.

Hutto, according to the affidavit, was taken to the hospital because he was found "twitching, making delusional comments and crying while his eyes were rolling into the back of his head."

Lora Grace Duncan
| Credit: Captured Memories by Esta

At the hospital, Hutto allegedly told police, "Oh my God, I think I hurt my Gracie," and then began crying, according to the station.

Hutto was detained Oct. 30 as he exited the Jacksonville hospital.

The man who coined the phrase "Salt Life" for enthusiasts of water sports and activities is accused of fatally shooting Duncan.

Michael Troy Hutto
| Credit: Riviera Beach Police

Her body was found the morning of Oct. 29 in a room registered to Hutto, the affidavit alleges, after her parents — concerned after not hearing from her for days — traced her phone to the hotel.

Hutto is charged with one count of manslaughter and a firearms possession violation. He has been held without bond and will appear in court Monday for a transfer hearing.

Duncan died from a single gunshot wound to the stomach, authorities have said.

According to the report, Hutto told detectives he and Duncan were headed to the Florida Keys to visit some of his friends but stopped at the Hilton.

After spending time together on the beach, Hutto allegedly said they were "playing inside of the hotel room as if they were shooting with their finger and a gun."

Hutto allegedly told detectives that Duncan was sitting on the counter in the bathroom when he pointed the gun at her and it fired. He allegedly left the room, taking the gun with him but leaving behind his wallet and identification.

Hutto has not entered pleas to the charges he faces, but his lawyer said he will plead not guilty.

Salt Life's customer base consists mostly of those who enjoy boating, surfing and fishing and the company's stickers are widespread in car windows.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

The company has noted on its Facebook page Hutto sold his share of the business in 2013, and is no longer affiliated with the brand.

"Salt Life sends their utmost sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased," reads the company's statement.