An 8-year-old California boy was killed while trying to protect his younger sister from their mother's ex-boyfriend, according to the New York Daily News.

Dante Daniels, who had just started the third grade was brutally beaten with a hammer during the early morning of Sept. 1. He died from his injuries six days later.

According to court documents, 23-year-old Deandre Chaney Jr. was performing a criminal lewd act on Dante's 7-year-old sister when the little boy stepped in.

Chaney, who pleaded no contest last year to a charge of failing to register as a sex offender, was the ex-boyfriend of Dante's mother, 28-year-old Elizabeth Salone.