Salt Life co-founder pleads guilty to manslaughter in Lake City 18-year-old’s death

Michael Hutto sentenced to 12 years in prison

Michael Hutto

A co-founder of the popular Salt Life brand pleaded guilty Thursday to manslaughter with a firearm in connection with the 2020 death of a Lake City teenager, according to Palm Beach County court records.

Court records show Michael Hutto was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

According to police, they found Grace Duncan, 18, of Lake City, shot to death in October 2020 inside a South Florida hotel room she was sharing with Hutto in Riviera Beach. Duncan’s parents had asked police to find their daughter, and they were concerned about drug use and that Hutto may have been influencing her.

Investigators said they determined that Duncan left her parent’s home in Columbia County on Oct. 25. She told them that she went to Daytona with Hutto and that they were working on starting a business together.

The next day, court records show, Hutto and Duncan checked into the Hilton Singer Island Hotel in Riviera Beach.

Grace Duncan (Photo by Esta Eberhardt of Captured Memories by Esta)

By Oct. 29, according to court records, Duncan’s parents told police that they couldn’t reach her and asked for a welfare check. They told investigators that they were concerned about drug use and that Hutto may have been influencing Duncan.

Officers responding knocked on the room’s door, and when no one answered, asked an employee to open the door. They did and found Duncan’s body in the bathroom.

Authorities said Hutto was arrested Oct. 30 in Jacksonville.