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Salt Life Founder Gets 12 Years in Prison for Killing Teenage Girlfriend

Michael Hutto, 56, pled guilty to manslaughter last week after shooting his 18-year-old girlfriend in 2020 in a Florida hotel room, according to news reports.

salt life founderMichael Troy Hutto, left, pled guilty to the murder of Lora Grace Duncan last week; (photos/Riviera Beach Police, Facebook)
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The manslaughter case against Michael Troy Hutto, the 56-year-old founder of ocean sports brand Salt Life, concluded last week with a conviction for the death of his girlfriend in 2020, local news reported.

Hutto pled guilty to shooting and killing 18-year-old Lora Grace Duncan in a room at Florida’s Hilton Singer Island in Oct. 2020, WPTV reported from a West Palm Beach courtroom.

He will serve 12 years in prison for the crime, which he told authorities was an accident, according to court records obtained by multiple news outlets.

The investigation began after Oct. 29, 2020, when Duncan’s father tracked her phone to the hotel room, and he found her dead from a gunshot wound to the stomach, court records said.

At the hospital, Hutto allegedly told police, “Oh my God, I think I hurt my Gracie,” and then began crying, WPTV reported in an earlier story. The Salt Life founder later told investigators that he and Duncan were “playing inside of the hotel room as if they were shooting with their finger and a gun.”

Hutto co-founded Salt Life in 2003 with several friends from Jacksonville, Fla. In 2013, the co-founders sold the entire surf/dive/fishing business to new owners, as Salt Life wrote in a Facebook post in 2020. 

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