AUGUSTA — A Fairfield woman was convicted of charges that she unlawfully took two of her children from their legal guardian — her mother — in August 2013 and drove them from Maine to South Carolina.

BethMarie N. Retamozzo, 36, was indicted in late January 2014 on two counts of criminal restraint by a parent, a class C crime that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The children are Joel and Joslyn Retamozzo, now 7 and 9, respectively.

The jury of seven women and five men deliberated for less than half an hour before returning their verdicts in the one-day trial.

Justice Andrew Horton set the sentencing hearing for 9 a.m. Friday. In the meantime, Retamozzo remains free on bail.

“Ultimately the heart of this case is Joel and Joslyn,” Assistant District Attorney Frayla Schoenfeld said in her opening statement to jurors.

She said BethMarie Retamozzo “chose to do things the wrong way” and took the children from her mother and headed south in violation of an order from a probate judge in Somerset County that permitted Retamozzo only supervised visits with the children.

Retamozzo’s attorney, John O’Donnell, told jurors that what Retamozzo and her mother, Pam Taylor of Waterville, agreed to on Aug. 15, 2013, is in dispute.

“Was Beth allowed to take the kids out of state to visit her sister (in Florida) who was recently married? Or was she supposed to take them on a supervised visit to a park in Waterville?” O’Donnell said. “It’s going to come down to what Pam said and what Beth said.”

Schoenfeld declined to comment on the case until after the sentencing hearing, and O’Donnell declined on Retamozzo’s behalf as well.

“This case was all about the children,” District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said via email after the verdict.

Retamozzo, who was expected to be the lone witness for the defense, opted against testifying, so the defense rested its case immediately after the prosecution did.

Taylor, the first witness to testify Wednesday, told Schoenfeld she did not want to be testifying at the trial.

Taylor began to cry as she responded to questions from the prosecutor, the judge handed her a box of tissues and the court officer gave her a cup of water.

“I remember a court order. The judge gave a lot of privileges to my daughter,” Taylor said when asked about several probate court hearings involving the children’s guardianship. Retamozzo voluntarily gave custody of the two children to her mother in 2009 when she wanted to go into the military, according to other court records.

Taylor testified that she thought Retamozzo was taking the children to the Skowhegan State Fair during the afternoon of Aug. 15, 2013, and that she thought they would be back in time to attend a session at a Vacation Bible School, which started around 6 p.m. that day.

Taylor testified that Retamozzo and Jennifer Dore, who had been approved as a visitation supervisor, came with Retamozzo to her home to pick up the children.

Asked whether she gave Retamozzo permission to take them to Florida, Taylor testified, “I don’t know. I don’t recall. I know my daughter’s always having an interest in Florida.”

Dore testified that she understood Retamozzo would visit with the two children at a Waterville playground. Dore also testified that she initially told a police officer that Retamozzo was in a hurry to leave and sped off.

Later, however, Dore said she realized she had left first, something confirmed after police located a surveillance video from a store parking lot. She said she had believed Retamozzo was taking the children to a local playground. She testified she went to the playground but did not see her there.

Taylor called police later that evening to report the children’s disappearance.

Retamozzo had been seeking to regain custody of Joslyn and Joel.

Annalee Bloom, an attorney who was appointed guardian ad litem for the two children, meaning she makes recommendations to the court in the best interests of the children, testified that in February 2013, there were plans to transition the children back to Retamozzo’s guardianship.

However, at a June 2013 hearing, a probate judge kept Taylor’s guardianship in place but allowed Retamozzo supervised visitation, Bloom said.

In an affidavit seeking an arrest warrant for Retamozzo, Waterville police Officer Adam Sirois said Taylor told police Retamozzo had four other children in the custody of another grandmother in Florida and that entries in a diary from a decade earlier indicated Retamozzo “was thinking about killing herself as well as her four children. In addition BethMarie wrote that the devil was telling her to molest her children but that she didn’t know why he was telling her to do this.”

None of this information came up at the trial.

Retamozzo, Joslyn and Joel, as well as a younger daughter, Destiny, were found on Aug. 18, 2013, at a rest stop in South Carolina by a highway patrol officer.

The trial was the last one scheduled in the large courtroom at Kennebec County Superior Court.

A two-day civil jury trial was scheduled to start Thursday.

After that, trials will be held next door in the new Capital Judicial Center, which is scheduled to open to the public March. 2.