A 56-year-old Florida man has been sentenced to 12 years behind bars for killing his teen girlfriend in a hotel room and fleeing the scene, WPTV reports.
On Thursday, Michael Hutto pleaded guilty in Palm Beach County to manslaughter with a firearm in connection with the October 2020 death of 18-year-old Lora Grace Duncan.
Hutto, the co-founder of clothing brand Salt Life, contended that he shot the woman by accident while they were playing a game in their room at the Hilton Singer Island hotel, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
In an interview with police, Hutto claimed that after the gun fired, he put it in a backpack and drove 280 miles to his hometown of Jacksonville.
Duncan’s father, concerned that he had not heard from his daughter in days, contacted police and asked that officers conduct a welfare check. He was reportedly monitoring the woman’s location using a phone app.
Police found Duncan’s body decomposing with a gunshot wound to her stomach.
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One day earlier, police came upon Hutto when he was found sitting in his illegally parked vehicle at a gas station in St. Augustine. He was allegedly “twitching, making delusional comments and crying while his eyes were rolling into the back of his head,” according to court records obtained by WPTV.
Investigators asked Duncan, a married father of four, about his girlfriend. He had reportedly left his identification card and wallet in the hotel room where Duncan’s body was located. He reportedly began to cry and said “Oh, my God, I think I hurt my Gracie,” The Palm Beach Post reports.
Duncan’s parents did not approve of the relationship and alleged that Hutto furnished the teen with drugs to sedate her, according to the newspaper.
Hutto and his co-founders sold Salt Life Apparel in 2013 for almost $40 million.
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[Feature Photo: Lora Grace Duncan/Handout; Michael Troy Hutto/Palm Beach County Jail]