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As to what the purpose is, likely the DA did not offer him a plea bargain that was acceptable. That's usually the reason and, in addition, the defendant often pleads when it is time to go to trial.
As to having someone represent him, he can hire a lawyer and have them attend with him but if your son is just there as a witness there isn't much the lawyer can do.
He can only be represented by a lawyer, it's against the law for anyone else to appear for him, try to speak for him, etc.
Please ask any follow up questions in this thread.
This was in the US Legal category. Where does your son live, Canada or the US? Is the court he is supposed to be going to in Canada or the US?