Markeith Council is charged with voluntary manslaughter.
Authorities said Council got into a fight with 40-year-old Shon McClain of Apex June 4. McClain suffered severe head injuries and died later at WakeMed.
An autopsy says McClain died of blunt force trauma to the head and neck.
Council had been on paid administrative duty pending a review by the State Bureau of Investigation. The Wake County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday he has now been suspended without pay.