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Crime

California 8-Year-Old Allegedly Beaten to Death with Hammer, Heart Is Donated to 4-Year-Old

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Dante Daniels
Go Fund Me

A California 8-year-old who was allegedly beaten with a hammer by his mother’s ex-boyfriend was taken off life support and died a week later, PEOPLE confirms.

According to a statement from Sacramento police, Deandre Chaney Jr., 23, allegedly used a hammer, a knife, and lighter fluid to brutalize his ex-girlfriend and her two children: fatal victim Dante Daniels and his sister.

Now, Chaney is jailed in California following his extradition from Nevada, where he was arrested on murder and attempted murder charges a day after the alleged Sept. 1 attack.

Police allege in the statement that Chaney is “known to law enforcement and has a violent history.”

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The boy’s grandmother, Monique Brown, told WSFA that Dante was beaten because he was defending his younger sister from an alleged attack by Chaney.

Deandre Chaney
Sacramento Police Department

After the alleged attack, “Chaney stole the victim’s [mother’s] vehicle and fled the scene,” the statement alleges. He was apprehended in Winnemucca the following day.

Dante was declared brain dead subsequently. Six days later, he died. Brown said that his heart has since been donated to a 4-year-old California child.

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“Dante gave his heart to a 4-year-old in Southern California, so a 4-year-old lives because of [him],” Brown told WSFA, adding that his mom and sister survived but have a long road to recovery ahead of them.

Chaney, who was also charged with lewd acts with a child under 14, is being held without bail. He has yet to enter a plea to the charges, and does not have an attorney of record who could comment on his behalf.

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help the family as they recover.