Teenage brother of Athens shooting victim dies in his sleep

A popular Athens high school student died in his sleep this week, just days after his older brother was shot outside a nightclub, the Athens Banner-Herald reported.

MarQuavious “Tootie” Payne, 17, was found Tuesday morning in his bed after he didn’t show up at Cedar Shoals High School, the newspaper reported. The teenager, who played football for his school, could not be revived.

Tootie’s mother told the newspaper her son had no pre-existing conditions and did not use drugs or alcohol.

“God just took him in his sleep,” Towyone Wymbs said.

Wymbs' older son was injured early Saturday when he was shot outside Bootleggers nightclub, according to police. Jamaris Antrellis Walter, 22, was seriously injured in the shooting, which killed 22-year-old Derrick Merritt. Police believe both men were innocent bystanders.

Students are planning to hold a candlelight vigil in Payne’s memory Friday night on the Cedar Shoals High School football field.