He came for Christmas to stay at the woman's home in Taneytown, but by the time New Year's Day had come and gone, 36-year old Donald Ealy had worn out his welcome.
According to court documents, he argued she couldn't throw him out.
He had established residency.
That's when things escalated even though neighbors never heard a word.
"All I saw is two Taneytown police cars sitting out here and they walked up to the house and that was it," said a neighbor, John Jordan.
By the time police arrived, Ealy had moved on, but they say he left a trail of threatening text messages behind.
"She told me that she received text message through social media about him threatening to burn her house down and she showed me screen shots that she had her phone, which indicated the same," said Sgt. Brian Jestes of the Taneytown Police Department.
In addition to texting, 'I'll burn down your house', Ealy also sent expletive-filled messages claiming he should have beaten his host, recommending she kill herself to do the world a favor and calling her the biggest waste of his life.
While neighbors didn't hear the heated words, they recognize a threat when they see one.
"Burning the house down and everything. It's just getting out of control up here," said Jordan, "It's very scary to hear that. I mean I didn't even know what was going on and I have three kids in the house and that's kind of crazy."
Ealy is being held without bond facing a series of charges in a case, which will not rest upon what was said, but instead on what was written.
"Just remember that even though you're texting it, you still need to remember that it's still verbal,” said Jestes, “It can be used against you in court."
We caught up with the alleged victim in this case and she did not want to go on camera, but she did say she only called police seeking a protective order against Ealy, and did not mean for police to take it this far.
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Ealy is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, according to online court records.