Drugs and a May-December romance seem to have led to the untimely death of 18-year-old Lora “Grace” Duncan who was found shot to death in a Hilton Hotel on October 29.
When Heavy reported the story on November 3, few details were available about why the young woman left her hometown of Lake City, Florida, to go on a trip with 54-year-old Michael Troy Hutto, who was on of four men who co-founded the Salt Life clothing and gear company in 2003 and sold the business in 2013 for around $40 million.
Now, the probable cause affidavit charging Hutto with manslaughter paints a picture of a drug-fueled few days that ended in Hutto, who was the 2020 high school graduate’s boyfriend according to the affidavit, accidentally shooting her and leaving her to die.
Police Say Grace’s Father Was Concerned Hutto Was Giving Grace Drugs & Asked For a Wellness Check When He Could No Longer Reach Her
According to the affidavit, Grace’s father, Burton Duncan, told police he believed Hutto was giving the teen drugs to keep her “sedated.” When Burton last spoke to his daughter around 8 a.m. on October 25 she “sounded out of character and possibly on drugs,” the affidavit says.
By October 29 when Burton had been unable to reach his daughter he asked police to help with a wellness check at the Hilton Hotel in Riviera Beach.
“When patrol units arrived, there was a strong odor of decomposition from the hallway,” the affidavit says. When police went into room 713, they saw Grace’s body on the floor near the bathroom.
“The body was covered in blood and there were live rounds observed on the floor,” according to the affidavit.
The medical examiner said Grace had been shot in the stomach.
When Police Tracked Down Hutto He Said, ‘Oh My God, I Think I Hurt My Gracie’
According to the Riviera Beach Department, the hotel room was rented in Hutto’s name, and he left his phone and an attached wallet case in the room when he left. His I.D. was in the wallet case.
Video surveillance at the hotel also showed Hutto leaving the hotel with a backpack on October 28. At about 4:32 a.m. that morning, Hutto showed up at a BP gas station in St. John’s County, which according to Google Maps is about a 3 hour and 40-minute drive from Riviera Beach.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Hutto went into the gas station and asked for help. He is described as “twitching, making delusional comments, and crying while his eyes were rolling into the back of his head.”
The gas station attendant called for help and emergency workers took Hutto to Baptist Hospital in Jacksonville where he was admitted. That’s where he was subsequently arrested for manslaughter on October 29 after police tracked him there following the discovery of Grace’s body.
When police questioned Hutto at the hospital on whether he knew why they were there he said, “Oh My God, I Think I Hurt my Gracie,” and started to cry, but then said he didn’t want to talk about it anymore and asked police to come back and question him the following day.
Hutto Told Police He & Grace Were ‘Playing’ in the Hotel Room When He Pointed a Gun at Her & It Went Off
When police went back the next day, Hutto told his story. According to the affidavit, Hutto said he and “Gracie” were on their way to the Florida Keys to visit some of his friends when they stopped to spend some time at the Hilton in Riviera Beach.
According to the affidavit, the night Grace was killed Hutto said that he and Grace were inside the hotel room “playing…as if they were shooting with their finger and a gun…Hutto went on to state as Gracie was sitting on the counter inside of the bathroom, he pointed the gun at Gracie, at which time, it went off and shot her.”
Rather than call for help, Hutto put the gun in his backpack and left the hotel in his 2020 Green Dodge Challenger Hellcat. Hutto told police he drove until he ran out of gas at the BP. The gun was still in the backpack in the vehicle when police arrested Hutto at the hosptal.
Hutto is being held on $250,000 bond at the Palm Beach County jail.