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Chicago dance school to award scholarship in honor of Jayden Perkins, boy stabbed to death

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A benefit event was held Thursday night in honor of Jayden Perkins, the 11-year-old boy who was stabbed to death while trying to protect his mother during a domestic attack in the Edgewater neighborhood in March.

Jayden was on a full-ride dance scholarship at the Gus Giordano Dance School in Andersonville. The Gus Legacy Foundation is now raising money for the inaugural Jayden Perkins Memorial Scholarship.

The dance company said it will award the scholarship yearly to students with Jayden's love for all, work ethic, and positivity.

Jayden Perkins Cheddar Up

Jayden was killed while trying to protect his pregnant mother, Laterria Smith, on the morning of Wednesday, March 13. Prosecutors say Smith's ex-boyfriend, Crosetti Brand, attacked her at her home in the 5900 block of North Ravenswood Avenue one day after he was released from custody.

Smith sought an order of protection against Brand in February, despite him going back to prison for violating his parole, including by trying to break into her home weeks before. The request for the order of protection was denied.

Meanwhile, Brand was granted parole on Tuesday, March 12. It was the very next day when he allegedly went to Smith's apartment and stabbed her and her son – just hours before a scheduled court hearing on her case.

In late March, Prisoner Review Board chair Donald Shelton and board member LeAnn Miller resigned after the board approved Brand's parole.

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