Teen suspect in 17-year-old Five Guys workers’ murder ordered jailed on $150K bond

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 9:21 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A teenager charged in the murder of a 17-year-old Memphis Five Guys employee made his first court appearance Friday.

Nineteen-year-old Zavon Payne is charged with facilitation of first-degree murder for the shooting death of Contario Sevion.

Payne has pleaded not guilty, but a police affidavit shows that he confessed to officers that the gun used in the shooting belonged to him and that he drove his younger brother to the restaurant that night.

“I am required to ask you this question by law. Just answer yes or no. Do you have a handgun carry permit sir,” asked Judge Montesi, to which Payne answered, “No, sir.”

Tennessee’s permitless carry law allows citizens to carry a gun without a permit, but they must be 21-years-old or older, or military personnel who is 18 or older.

Investigators say the 16-year-old brother was a former employee at the restaurant and worked with Sevion.

Police say Sevion and another coworker were taking out the trash Tuesday night when the 16-year-old suspect got out of Payne’s parked vehicle and fired several shots at the employees. The witness told police Sevion recognized the shooter.

Sevion was taken to the hospital but died from his injuries.

The 16-year-old suspect is charged with first-degree murder. His name has not been released, and it’s not clear if he will be charged as an adult.

Payne appeared in court Friday morning via video, but the hearing was rescheduled until Monday so he can secure an attorney.

He’ll remain jailed on $150,000 bond.

Sevion’s family spoke to Action News 5 the day they learned of his death.

“We want justice for our baby because they gunned him down. Cold blooded gunned my baby down. At his place of employment. Somewhere where he’s supposed to be safe,” said his grandmother Carmen Sevion.

They say Sevion was still in high school and had a baby on the way.

Payne says his family is currently in the process of hiring a lawyer.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Monday September 20.

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