Investigators said 22-year-old Mark Cox was charged with felony breaking and entering and larceny in Wake County in 2009.
He was also convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery in 2008 in Halifax County.
He was released in November after serving three years in prison.
Charlotte police believe Cox killed 25-year-old Danielle Watson.
Watson's body was found behind a dumpster early Saturday morning.
Investigators said Cox worked with Watson at The Flying Biscuit Café.
Police are still searching for the victim's car.