Cohen Legacy
March 29, 2008 - May 11, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial
Mothers day of 2008 would bring an emergency call about a six week old baby who would not survive after being abused by his father. A promise had been made by his mother, Mary Smith, NOT to leave him alone with his father, she broke that promise and it cost baby Cohen his life.

 "She kept reassuring us that Cohen wasn't left with Terry"
Dominic Verticchio  - Children's Aid Society

Mary Smith had two children from a previous relationship and in September of 2007 her 14 month old son was taken to the hospital with a broken hip. Terry Legacy would be suspected of causing the injury to Mary's son and was charged with aggravated assault. Mary and Terry had said that the child fell down some steps and that was how he had broken his hip. Terry Legacy suffered from depression and anxiety and shortly after he and Mary moved in together, he went off of his medication. Mary tried to talk him into getting a job and he didn't do it. Mary did say that he would come home stoned, from smoking marijuana. When she came home one night after working late, her son was crying. Every time he moved, he cried harder and Mary called her mother and they took him to the hospital. At first, doctors said he had a virus and sent her and her son home.

A week later when the child was still crying, Mary again takes him to the doctor where x-rays are done. The results are not back for a few days and when they do finally come in, Mary is told to take her son to McMaster Hospital where she will be met by an Orthopedic Surgeon. Why would ANY mother wait another week to take a crying child to the doctor?

Police and the Children's Aid Society were both called and Mary went to the police station with her mother to make a statement:

"I had nothing to hide. I thought that he played and hurt himself."

When police asked her about Terry's relationship with her children, Mary told them that her children called him Dad and that she had no reason to suspect he would hurt any of them. Terry and Mary go home while her son stays in the hospital for five weeks. Mary begins to think that CAS will remove her children from their home. She asks Terry to tell her what happened to her son and he tells her that he was in the basement doing laundry when the child had stepped away. She says he heard the child cry and found him at the bottom of their short stairway:

"He went over to him, picked him up and then he stopped crying. So he didn't think 
that was what it was."

Just a month after the child suffered the broken hip, Terry was cleared of all charges and it was said that he was not responsible for the injury even though The Children's Aid Society had ruled it was a suspicious injury. Just days after Cohen's death, Hamilton's Homicide And Child Abuse unit made a decision to reopen the case of the child who had a broken hip. 

The Hamilton Police were called to the home of Mary Smith and Terry Legacy on May 11, 2008 and there they found Cohen Legacy had stopped breathing. Mary says they started out with breakfast in bed, that mothers day is a day to enjoy being a mother. At 3:00 p.m. she left to go clean an office, which was her job. When she got home, she cleaned house, made dinner and put the children to bed.

Around 11:00 p.m., Cohen woke up and wouldn't eat. Terry changed his diaper and then Mary tried to feed him, he drank the bottle. When he had finished eating, Mary went outside to have a cigarette. When she came back into the room, Terry was walking around with Cohen in the living room:

"I saw Cohen for maybe two seconds and it looked like he was sleeping."

Mary went back to the kitchen to make another bottle and she heard an odd noise. Terry called to her that Cohen had the hiccups. When the noise was heard again, Terry brought Cohen into the kitchen:

"Mary, I think something's wrong."

Mary called 911 as formula came out of Cohen's nose. She tells them that her baby is choking and the try to help:

"Hold him like a football ... tilt his head back ... put your mouth over his nose and mouth ... 
two small, soft puffs ..."

There is a knock at the door and it turns out to be a police officer who made it there before the ambulance. Mary hands her son to the officer and she sits on the floor:

"When I looked up, all these cops and other people were there, detectives started showing up."

Cohen Legacy was dead.

A neighbor would later say:

"She was just crying, 'My baby, my baby. I didn't see the baby being taken out. He, Terry was 
in shock. He wasn't saying a word."

Cohen was transported to Hamilton General Hospital. A forensic examination would show that Cohen's injuries were not accidental and his death was ruled a homicide. Dr. William Lucas, Deputy Chief Coroner for Ontario said that he didn't know if Cohen had signs of trauma:

"My understanding is that there were indicators for both the coroner and the police right from t
he outset that this was a potentially suspicious death. In other words, that they were dealing with a potentially criminal matter, and an autopsy was conducted that confirmed that and 
that's why the police are continuing to conduct this as a homicide investigation."

On May 29, 2008, Terry Daniel Legacy was charged with the murder of his son. This would come just two weeks after he had been charged and cleared of the aggravated assault charges.

On the same day that Cohen died, another child in the home was found with what looked like a cigarette burn on his nose:

"The allegation is that it was a possible cigarette burn. That's what they're using against me."
Mary Smith

Mary Smith admits that on the day Cohen died, she had left Terry alone with the children, even after promising that she wouldn't. Mary said that they also suspect that this was the day the other child had the injury they say is a burn. Mary insists it wasn't a burn mark:

 "He fell. And his face was all scraped up."

Mary said that she was upset with how the investigation into her sons broken hip had gone. She claims to have learned that Terry had given inconsistent statements to the police and they had not told her about it. A video tape would show that Terry first blamed the injury on Mary's mother claiming she was alone with the child on the day he
was hurt. He later changed that statement and said that while he was watching the child, he fell down the steps. Mary says that she should have been allowed to watch the tape and hear that he had changed his story and if she had her son would still be alive:

"I should have seen that video right after the investigation with Delibato because so much 
could have been prevented. I would probably still have my baby.  I would never have had 
Terry back in my house."

Sergeant Terri-Lynn Collings of the Hamilton Police said that there was never a time when Mary talked to them about the statements or that she had a problem with the investigation:

"At no time has she complained about the original investigation by Hamilton police." 

Mary claimed that police told her son had suffered some injuries which had happened before the day of his hip breaking, an incident that caused him to be in the hospital for several weeks. A report from that time made by the Child Advocacy And Assessment Program at McMaster Children's Hospital talked about the old injuries that showed up on bone scans and said the scans:

"demonstrated the presence of old fractures of the left ribs and potentially of a vertebra"

Mary's children, her other son and a daughter, were taken away from her and were being cared for by another family while the Children's Aid Society reviewed all of their notes on the case. The CAS found some concerns about the children that were not connected to Terry Legacy:

"He's out of the equation," 
Dominic Verticchio

A report says that two weeks after his birth, Mary rushed Cohen to the hospital with blood dripping from his mouth. Terry had been left alone in the room with Cohen and was bottle feeding him. Mary said that when she returned to the room, Cohen was bleeding. Mary says that the doctor at the hospital told her that Cohen probably scratched himself with a fingernail.

Mary, who held her son Cohen in her arms while he died, would come under suspicion herself and an investigation would be made by the Children's Aid Society concerning the things they found in their notes including the fact that she had promised them not to leave Terry alone with the children.

Mary continued to blame the CAS and the detective who had been the investigator in the child abuse case against Terry claiming that if they had not messed up their investigation into her sons broken hip, she  would have known the truth and she would have left Terry. Mary said that her son would have been alive if not for them.

Mary's sister Ashley told reporters that she and her family didn't want to make any public statements:

"Except that my sister is a great mother." 

Hamilton police and CAS are both reviewing their actions in the case of the child with the broken hip. Johnson Fernandes, the case worker who handled the child's case, was the one who ruled it as an accident. The decision he made was being reviewed by agencies outside of the CAS. This is standard procedure by the Pediatric Death Review Committee whenever there is a death of a child while the CAS is involved or up to a year after their cases are closed. Their findings would not be complete until September of 1008.

Mary was upset because Johnson Fernandes would remain as the case worker in her case as well as the case of her surviving children who no longer lived with her. She felt that he didn't do his job right:

"That really makes me angry," 

Dominic Verticchio says there is no policy within CAS as for what steps to take when a SAC employee is being reviewed. He also said that he had no concerns about this employees performance:

"I have no issues with his performance. There is no concern on our part that he should not 
be the manager at this point."

If problems are found within the handling of the case, Dominc says that his status could change. Additionally, he says that CAS staff are involved in the decisions that will be made for Mary's case and for what will happen to Johnson Fernandes:

"It's a very complex case at this point. We try to unravel all that's involved in it."

On July 18, 2008, Terry Legacy was in court for a bail hearing in the second degree murder charge case.

NOTE: Seems Canada takes a long time to take people to trial. I can't find any updates about this case as of November 4, 2011.


It is now March of 2012 and the trial of Terry Legacy has started. I am hoping that it will also lead to charges being brought against Mary Smith for lying and putting her child in danger by leaving him with this monster. Mary has, on more than one occasion, tried to get me to take Cohen's story off of my pages. Her threats and the comments from her mother didn't bother me at all. Cohen's story has been out there since he was killed and that's the way it should be. If just ONE person takes their child out of danger, if just one child is saved by someone reading any of the stories on my site, then it's all worth it. These children deserve to be remembered and they always will be as long as I am able to keep my site up and running.

I want to thank the people who have alerted me to the fact that the trial started and who will be sending me updates as the trial goes on.

UPDATE - April 20, 2012:

Headlines Read: Terry Legacy not guilty of infant son's murder

SHOCKINGLY, we find that a jury in Canada is as blind as the jury in the Casey Anthony case. After seven hours of deliberations, the jury returned with a verdict against Terry and found him not guilty of second degree murder. It is beyond me though how they found him guilty of aggravated assault. Last night, April 19, 2012, the jury came back with their verdict at about 10:15 pm. None of Terry's family was there. The charge he WAS found guilty of was the fractured hip of Cohen's brother, Dontae, shortly before Cohen was murdered. Though no charges have been filed against Mary Smith, Terry's lawyer had suggested her as a possible suspect in what happened to Cohen.

It seems at this point, there will be no justice for Cohen Legacy and another child murder will go unpunished. I wish our society looked at the life of children with more respect than than they do.

April 21, 2012

It is reported that Mary Smith hates Terry Legacy and that Terry has been ordered to stay away from her and that
he is not allowed to be alone with any children under the age of 12 years old. Terry has had the support of his family throughout the trial and they are there to walk from the courtroom with him, Terry declined to be interviewed as he was leaving the courtroom. Gregory Leslie, Terry's lawyer said that even though Terry never took the stand, he sticks to his story and he is innocent of the charges against him concerning Cohen as well as Dontae. Gregory says that Terry is happy to be free and can't speak about Cohen without tears coming to his eyes.

Gregory and his co-counsel, Neil Gregson admitted this was one of the most difficult cases they had ever been
involved in because of how complex it was. The defense had always said that Mary Smith was the one who was
the abusive parent and that she had been the one to murder Cohen, not Terry:

"And it's been emotionally draining. You're dealing with vulnerable children who can't speak or

Michael Fox was upset about the verdict and that it had only taken seven short hours to decide and he had feelings that the jury had made up their minds before hand:

"Their emotional view seemed to cloud rationale"

Michael said that while a tape played the 911 call and even when being shown the autopsy pictures, the jury sat
without emotion, they appeared to not be affected by what they were hearing and seeing. Staff Sgt. Steve Hrag
is confident that Terry was the one who killed Cohen and says that the case will not be reopened:

"There is no evidence we've seen in four years that indicates Mary had any part in causing these injuries. At the same time, we respect the court system and the decision of the jury"

Steve says that he is bothered by the fact that both Dontae and Cohen had undetected injuries that went un-
treated for any length of time.

Mary's surviving children Dontae, who is now five years old and Nellie who is 12, are living with their grandmother, reports that I have read are conflicting as for the reasons why they are living there. Mary claims to have had some mental problems that caused her to send the children to live with their grandmother and it is reported that Mary sees them quite often. Other reports say that CAS took the children from Mary after realizing their mistake in allowing her to keep the children, a mistake they realized only after Cohen died. Mary's mother says this about the children:

"The children are fine and they're safe. Justice was not served for Cohen. I don't know the truth of what
happened to my grandson and I want to know"

Mary says she is working to get her life back in order so she can have her children with her again and is upset
that some people think she killed Cohen:

"It feels horrible. They don't know me. They don't have a right to judge me. But what matters to me
 is that
my kids know who I am. My life and my kids lives are never going to be the same. I'm never going to be who I was. And I wouldn't have been able to get through this without my kids. I've done nothing by try my best"

Unfortunately, Mary doesn't seem to know what the best is, in my opinion. I still believe Mary had a part in what
happened to this innocent, precious little Angel who lost his life for no good reason at all.
Mary has a locket and in that locket is some of Cohen's hair. Hopefully it will be a reminder to her that children are gifts to us, not  something we can play games with. Children are special and they should come first. If CAS allows Mary to have her children back, they will be making a HUGE mistake. Mary has proven that she will lie and do whatever is in HER OWN best interest and not that of her children. Mary has proven that her children are not her number one priority. If Terry killed Cohen of if Mary did, Mary put herself and her own wants and needs BEFORE those of her child and now he's dead. Mary has no business raising children.

Mary says that people don't know her, she's wrong about that. People DO know Mary. People know that CAS tried to protect her children and Mary lied to them in order to get what SHE wanted and not do what was best for her children. That's all anyone needs to know, to know what kind of person Mary truly is.

Someone got away with murdering this beautiful baby boy. Thankfully, they will face God one day and pay for what was done. Terry Legacy walked away a free man, less than 24 hours after the verdict. The conviction for what was done to Dontae brought him a sentence of time served. Terry had been in segregation for the entire time he was in prison.


On February 23, 2013, I was contacted by Cohen's Aunt who told me that Mary has stopped all contact with her and that she has given birth to another baby boy. I hope God is watching closely and keep that baby safe, he needs to have Angels with him at ALL times. I want to thank his Aunt for loving him and for keeping me updated on what is going on.

Read E-mails From Cohen's "family"
(I use the term family lightly because in my opinion, no family would allow
their child/grandson to be killed this way)
(UPDATE: More e-mail threats from Mary - February, 2012)

(UPDATE: Found on You Tube after a video of her son and his story, Mary's Comments)

Death occurred in Canada

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