An 8-year-old Sacramento boy was beaten to death with a hammer while protecting his younger sister from being sexually assaulted by his mother's ex-boyfriend, according to a criminal complaint obtained by KTLA sister station KTXL in Sacramento.
Dante Daniels was brutally beaten with a hammer on Sept. 1. He died six days later.
According to the criminal complaint, 23-year-old Deandre Chaney Jr. was allegedly performing a criminal lewd act on Dante's 7-year-old sister when the little boy stepped in to help.
"This guy beat my grandson with a hammer. Down to his spine. They couldn't save his brain," Dante's grandmother Monique Brown told KTXL.
Chaney was found in Nevada on Sept. 2. Officers said he was wrapped in a tarp hiding in a backyard shed, according to the Sacramento Bee. He was arrested on an outstanding warrant.
Chaney is the ex-boyfriend of Dante's mother, 28-year-old Elizabeth Salone. At some point, investigators say the suspect turned the hammer and knife on Salone and the 7-year-old girl.
Salone sustained an eye injury during the altercation and will "probably never see out of her left eye," Brown said.
Brown added that the 7-year-old girl "will need a lot of help."
Doctors were able to recover Dante's heart and donate the organ.
"Dante gave his heart to a 4-year-old in Southern California," Brown said. "So a 4-year-old lives on."
In October, Chaney plead no contest to a charge of failing to register as a sex offender. In 2014, he pleaded no contest to battery charges. He also pleaded no contest to assault charges in 2011.