Madison Earl Holwett, 26, of Battleboro faces charges of involuntary manslaughter and felony hit-and-run in the Aug. 21 death of Edward Arrington Whitaker Jr.
Whitaker was found dead near a Kangaroo Express gas station on N.C. Highway 48 in the Goldrock section of Rocky Mount, police said. He had severe head trauma and internal injuries, and an autopsy determined that he died after being hit by a car.
Police haven't said how they linked Howlett to Whitaker's death.
Howlett was placed in the Nash County jail under a $35,000 bond.
He was released from jail June 6 after serving 10 months for trying to sell drugs, a fraud conviction and a probation violation, according to state Department of Correction records. He also has convictions for driving while impaired, breaking and entering, felony larceny and drug possession.