DAYBREAK DAILY: Post-conviction details emerge in Alexis Murphy case

ABC7 WEATHER: Partly sunny with highs near 90.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – A federal appeals court will hear arguments today in two combined cases against Virginia's constitutional and statutory bans on marriage for same-sex couples; Woman robbed, sexually assaulted in Northwest; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

ALEXIS MURPHY: In retrospect, per the (Lynchburg) News & Advance, “In preparing the case against Randy Allen Taylor, the man convicted of abducting and killing Alexis Murphy, Nelson County Commonwealth's Attorney Anthony Martin said he researched homicides across the nation that did not include a body among the evidence. A Nelson County jury last week found Taylor guilty of first-degree murder in commission of abduction and abduction with intent to defile in the disappearance of Murphy, 17, who last was seen Aug. 3 at a Lovingston gas station.

“Taylor, 48, was convicted Thursday after a six-day trial; the jury has recommended two life sentences. The smallest amount of prison time a judge could hand down is 40 years. Convinced Murphy's killer has been brought to justice, Martin said Monday securing a murder conviction when her body has not been found was an issue "always in the back of your mind."

MARYLAND GOVERNOR’S RACE: Promises, promises, per the Washington Post, “Two Democratic candidates for Maryland governor said Monday that, if elected, they would seek changes to the minimum-wage legislation passed last month by the General Assembly to make it more favorable to workers. Speaking at a candidates forum, both Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) and Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery) said they would like to speed up the timetable in the bill that gradually raises Maryland’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 by 2018.

“Both also said they would like to see the rate continue to rise based on inflation after it reaches $10.10 and that they would do more to help tipped workers, including restaurant servers. The campaign of Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) had no immediate response. Brown, Gansler and Mizeur appeared separately at the forum in Ellicott City, which was sponsored by several affordable housing groups, and did not hear one another’s remarks.”

VIRGINIA ABORTION CLINICS: New pair of eyes, per the Virginian-Pilot, “Seeking to honor a campaign pledge, Gov. Terry McAuliffe revamped Virginia's health board by replacing five of its 15 members and directing them to start an immediate review of the state's strict architectural and hygiene regulations finalized last year for abortion clinics. The Democratic governor announced those steps Monday to the delight of abortion rights advocates opposed to what they consider an unfair imposition of hospital-like building standards on the 18 clinics licensed in Virginia.

“Not surprisingly, his decision elicited condemnation from abortion foes who tout the Republican-inspired regulations as an appropriate means to protect patient health. McAuliffe, who campaigned as a "brick wall" defender against efforts to restrict abortion rights and limit clinic access, made it clear in a State Capitol news conference he disagrees with that view.”

MEANWHILE: Big day looms, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Supporters and opponents of Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban will be looking to Richmond today, where a federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in Bostic v. Rainey, a landmark case aimed at overturning the 2006 amendment to the state Constitution that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

“In February, a federal judge in Norfolk struck down the ban. Today’s hearing is the next step in a legal proceeding that is likely headed to the U.S. Supreme Court this year. Legal experts say that even if a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the ruling, same-sex couples in Virginia will not be able to marry right away.”

DOWN: And out?, per the Baltimore Sun, “Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger wants jobless Marylanders whose unemployment checks have run out to send him their stories and photos as he and other Democrats push for a House vote on extended benefits.

"Over the past four months, I've heard from Marylanders on the verge of losing their homes," the Baltimore County Democrat said Monday at an event in Hanover. "Some have had to give up their cars, which makes it nearly impossible to go to a job interview. Others have had to cancel their Internet service, which makes it hard to search for job openings." Federally funded benefits had extended unemployment assistance beyond the months covered by states' programs during the sharp recession and difficult recovery, but that expired Dec. 28.”

HEALTH CARE: With a twist, per the New York Times, “In the midst of all the turmoil in health care these days, one thing is becoming clear: No matter what kind of health plan consumers choose, they will find fewer doctors and hospitals in their network — or pay much more for the privilege of going to any provider they want.

“These so-called narrow networks, featuring limited groups of providers, have made a big entrance on the newly created state insurance exchanges, where they are a common feature in many of the plans. While the sizes of the networks vary considerably, many plans now exclude at least some large hospitals or doctors’ groups. Smaller networks are also becoming more common in health care coverage offered by employers and in private Medicare Advantage plans.”

DONALD STERLING: Keep on talking, please!, per the Los Angeles Times, “In an extraordinary television interview that deepened the anger over his ownership of the Clippers, Donald Sterling attacked Lakers great Magic Johnson, suggested that African Americans have not done enough to help their community and blamed the media for creating the turmoil that envelops his team and his family.

“Sterling's attempt to show contrition in his first public comments since he was banned from the NBA two weeks ago featured several broadsides against Johnson, one of the most beloved figures in American sports. Sterling also insisted that players, fans, sponsors and fellow owners continue to support him. Alternatively apologetic, defiant and seemingly on the verge of tears, Sterling said he believed he can maintain his hold on the team he has owned for 33 years.”

ALL ABOUT KEYSTONE: Or not, per The Hill, “Senate Republicans on Monday blocked bipartisan-energy efficiency legislation and derailed a promised vote on the Keystone XL pipeline, striking a blow against two Democratic incumbents facing tough re-election races. Only three Republicans, including its chief GOP sponsor, Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio), voted to end debate and move to a final vote. Supporters needed 60 votes to overcome a filibuster from Republicans angered that Democrats wouldn't allow votes on their amendments.”

POLITICO PLAY: “Jeb Bush’s decision whether to run for president in 2016 is being driven by competing impulses within his own family. On one side is his eldest son, George P., who’s unabashedly and publicly supportive of his father’s potential candidacy. On the other are Jeb Bush’s mother and wife, who are clearly reluctant. In between is his older brother, George W., who is passively supportive but seems to friends to be more indifferent than enthusiastic.

“These viewpoints became apparent in interviews with more than a dozen of Bush’s friends and associates. The opinions of his family members are critical, as Bush has made no secret that his decision will come down to family considerations.”

MARION BARRY: “Tired of being exploited,” per City Paper, “While Marion Barry's would-be successors in Ward 8 fight over who will succeed him, Barry is working on his legacy. Barry took to the radio waves this afternoon to denounce the unflattering Barry-era book Dream City and the HBO movie associated with it—and, along the way, promote his own autobiography. "Tom Sherwood and Harry Jaffe are trying to exploit me, and I’m tired of being exploited," Barry said of the 20-year-old book's authors on WAMU's The Kojo Nnamdi Show. "The citizens are tired of being exploited by them."

“Much of Barry's appearance centered on his unhappiness that Dream City, a book about an African-American mayor and a majority African-American city, was written by two white men. “Why should I let two white men exploit a black man?" Barry said.”

SCHOOL DAZE: Show me the money, per Gazette.Net, “Rather than increase the amount that Montgomery County will have to provide to its public schools in upcoming years, the County Council is faced with a plan to use money from various school funds to meet the school system’s budget requests for the upcoming fiscal year. But school board members are warning that the solution can’t become a regular occurrence.”

WILD RIDE: Of a family affair, per the Frederick News-Post, “A Mount Airy man faces a string of charges after leading Maryland State Police on a 26-minute chase that traversed more than 10 miles across Frederick County with his wife and two children in the back seat, according to court documents.”

KEEP IT DOWN: Or else, per ARLnow, “The Arlington County Board adopted a new noise ordinance on Saturday in an attempt to balance resident complaints with business owners’ concerns. Effective immediately, restaurant managers will be liable for the noise of their patrons if it can be heard in a residence 100 feet or more away from midnight to 9:00 a.m in mixed-use areas, which the county outlines in maps of areas like Clarendon, Ballston, Pentagon City and Columbia Pike.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals beat Arizona 6-5.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “Potential bad news for any Northern Virginia folks that ride the metro. Your wait time for trains during your regular commute could worsen once the Silver Line opens. Do you think the Silver Line will be a good addition to the metro system?”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is Prince George's County Director of Emergency Management Ronald Gill, who will be asked about the slope failure that caused significant damage to more than two dozen homes.

--Skip Wood