California boy killed protecting sister from mother's ex-boyfrie -

California boy killed protecting sister from mother's ex-boyfriend, grandma says

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Dante Daniels (Family Photo / CNN) Dante Daniels (Family Photo / CNN)

SACRAMENTO, CA. (KTXL/CNN) -- The grandmother of a eight-year-old California boy said he was beaten to death with a hammer while trying to protect his young sister from molestation.

Dante Daniels was attacked with a hammer on his second day of third grade at Oakridge Elementary in southern Sacramento.

Investigators said Daniels' mother's ex-boyfriend, 23-year-old Deandre Chaney, Jr., attacked the eight-year-old with the hammer early in the morning. A criminal complaint alleges Chaney also used lighter fluid in the attack. 

Six days later, Daniels died.

Monique Brown, Daniels' grandmother, said her grandson was beaten with the hammer "down to his spine" and that the boy could not be saved.

The criminal complaint states that Chaney murdered Daniels while he was engaged in the crime of committing a lewd act on Daniels' seven-year-old sister. At some point, investigators say Chaney turned the hammer and a knife on the sister, as well as her mother. Both the sister and the mother are alive.

Brown said her grandson is a hero.

"[He was] trying to save his sister from this child molester and that's why he was beaten the worst," Brown said. "That was my Dante, just starting third grade. He was a lot sensitive. He didn't play with kids who were rough. He played baseball."

Brown also said Daniels' heart was donated to a four-year-old in southern California.

"So a four-year-old lives because of this little boy," Brown said.

Chaney faces murder and attempted murder charges, along with the charge of lewd acts with a child under 14.

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