56-Year-Old Co-Creator Of Clothing Line Pleads Guilty To Killing 18-Year-Old Girlfriend

Michael Hutto, a 56-year-old co-creator of the popular Salt Life clothing brand, has accepted a plea for manslaughter charges in connection with the death of his teenage girlfriend, Lora Grace Duncan. The tragedy has left two families devastated, and Hutto will now face a sentence of 12 years in Florida prison after his guilty plea in Palm Beach County Court.

The prosecutor’s affidavit reported that Hutto and Duncan were “messing around” in a hotel when Hutto took out his real gun and simulated shooting her. But the firearm went off accidentally, sending a bullet into Duncan’s stomach. She died soon afterward, while Hutto – supposedly distraught – fled the hotel and left behind his wallet and identification.

Though his lawyer, Donnie Murrell Jr., said he could not confirm why Hutto reached for his loaded handgun during their “lighthearted” exchange, he noted that in his opinion, his client “genuinely loved” Duncan in spite of the 33-year age difference between them.

The judge read a statement from Duncan’s family in court, who, while they couldn’t be reached for an official statement, noted in their statement that they did not believe Hutto and Duncan were in love. They had attempted to conduct a welfare check the week prior to her passing, upon not hearing from her for two full days.

Originally co-founding the Salt Life brand, which was tailored for surfers, Hutto had not been affiliated with the clothing line since selling it in 2013.